Wrongful death generally means a lawsuit is filed when the wrongful conduct of a person or entity results in the death of another person. Like personal injury, this area of tort can involve every area of tort practice – from premises liability, trucking disasters to dangerous products on the market – but your first step should be to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. The wrongful death lawyer will help determine, first, who is the personal representative authorized to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the estate of a deceased person against the persons or entities responsible for the victim’s death.
Unlike a personal injury case, where the injured person is one of the plaintiffs, in the case of a wrongful death action, the family members bring the lawsuit for the wrongful actions. Oftentimes, it is the victim’s surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries or dependents who are the plaintiffs and are entitled to monetary damages that result from the victim’s death. Generally, lawsuits are allowed under survival statutes which allow a victim’s survivors to bring a cause of action after the victim dies.
Laws in all states, govern the time frame in which a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. Depending upon both the plaintiffs and the defendants involved, the deadlines vary. Anyone with a potential case should consult an experienced wrongful death law firm like Piet & Wright to determine what law or laws apply to them.
Wrongful Death Damages
Various types of monetary damages may be recovered in a wrongful death action and a wrongful death law firm can assess the merits of the case as well as the potential damages, including loss of companionship, sorrow and grief, which may be sought in such an action. For example, it is common to take the victim’s earnings at the time of his or her death and calculate the remaining years that person was expected to live to determine future lost earnings using life expectancy tables as well as experts who figure what is known as present cash value as well as the investment value of that money. The decedent’s will also must be examined. Experienced wrongful death attorneys also can determine whether punitive damages are available. These damages are meant to punish a defendant for intentional or egregious conduct.
Piet & Wright is a law firm that regularly handles complex damage cases, including claims for personal injury and wrongful death arising out of aviation, transportation, trucking, medical negligence, product liability and premises liability claims as well as whistleblowing and commercial fraud litigation.
We look forward to putting our attorneys’ experience to work for you. Because they can be complex cases, it is important to select a wrongful death lawyer with experience. To contact us, fill out the form on your right and email us with some details about your case and a convenient time for us to call. You can also call us toll free at 1-866-373-0012.