Do you know that in the United States, over 100,000 people die yearly from preventable medical errors? If your loved one was one of these victims, you might feel a range of intense emotions, including shock, sadness, anger, and confusion. You may also be wondering what you can do to get justice.
If you’ve lost a family member, spouse, or loved one due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you may be entitled to punitive damages. According to the National Law Review, these damages are “intended to punish the at-fault party and to discourage others from engaging in similar conduct.”
Punitive damages are legal recompense that can be awarded in addition to other types, such as compensatory damages (intended to cover medical expenses and lost wages) and pain and suffering damages.
Contact a wrongful death attorney to know more about your legal rights and options after losing a loved one. A qualified and reputed personal injury attorney will review your case and help you understand what kind of compensation you may be entitled to.
Continue reading to discover more about obtaining justice following the death of your loved one.
What is a wrongful death case?
It is a civil lawsuit that can be filed by the surviving family members of someone who died due to another person’s negligence or misconduct. In most cases, the defendant will be an individual, but in some cases, it may be a business or other entity.
To have a successful wrongful death case, you must show that the injury was caused by the defendant’s negligence or intentional misconduct. You will also need to show that you are a surviving family member and have suffered damages due to the injury.
What kind of compensation can you get in a wrongful death case?
Many factors will determine the compensation you may be awarded in a wrongful death case. The first is the relationship of the victim with the surviving family members. For example, if the victim were a spouse, the surviving spouse would be entitled to more compensation than if the victim was a child.
Another critical factor that will affect the amount of compensation is the financial contribution the victim made to the family. For example, if the victim were a breadwinner, then the surviving family would be entitled to more compensation than if the victim was a stay-at-home parent.
Finally, the court will also consider the pain and suffering the surviving family endured due to the death. It includes things like mental anguish and emotional distress.
How long can you file a wrongful death case?
Each state has its statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death case. In most states, you will have between one and three years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. However, you must check with an attorney in your state to determine the specific deadlines for your case.
How much time does it take to resolve this kind of case?
The length of time it takes to resolve a wrongful death case will depend on many factors, including the severity of the injuries, the number of damages involved, and whether the case goes to trial. In a few cases, it can be resolved within a few months. However, in other cases, it may take several years to resolve.
As you can see, there is much to consider after losing your loved one or family members. If you believe that others’ negligence caused the death, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.