Wrongful Death Lawyer Ben Roberts

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is a civil action that can be filed when someone dies due to a criminal act or negligence. It’s a type of personal injury lawsuit that the surviving family members and beneficiaries of the deceased can bring to court. The damages in a wrongful death case typically include compensation for losing the deceased’s income, companionship, and emotional support.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time limit within which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed.

The specific time limit can vary depending on the state and the circumstances of the case. In some states, the time limit can be as short as one year; in others, it may be as long as six years. If your loved one has been killed in an accident, acting quickly and seeking help from an experienced personal injury attorney is vital.
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Negligence

Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care that harms another person.

To prove negligence in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased and that the defendant breached the duty of care, causing the deceased’s death.

Damages

Damages are the monetary compensations awarded to the plaintiffs in a wrongful death case, which consist of economic and non-economic.

Economic damages include the loss of the deceased’s income and financial support, while non-economic damages include compensation for the emotional pain and suffering of the surviving family members.

Burden of Proof

In a wrongful death case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.

The plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant’s unlawful actions or negligence caused the deceased’s death. In a civil case, the plaintiff must prove their case with a dominance of evidence showing that the defendant’s actions caused the deceased’s death.

Settlement

In wrongful death cases, settlement typically involves the payment of a sum of money to the plaintiffs in exchange for releasing the defendant from further legal liability.

Liability

Liability is the term for legal responsibility for wrongful death. In a wrongful death case, the defendant is liable if they are found to have caused the death through their wrongful actions or negligence.

Negligence

Negligence is a legal concept that plays a significant role in wrongful death lawsuits.

Negligence refers to a failure to take reasonable care that harms another person. In a wrongful death case, negligence must be established to hold the responsible party liable for the deceased’s death. Here are the ways negligence is established in wrongful death lawsuits.

Duty of Care

To establish negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must first prove that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased. A duty of care is a legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to another person. The responsibility of care can arise from various relationships, such as doctor-patient, employer-employee, or diver-passenger.

Breach of Duty

Once the duty of care is established, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty of care. A breach of duty occurs when the defendant fails to act with reasonable care, thereby causing harm to the deceased. For instance, if a driver blows a red light and T-bones someone causing, them to die, that driver breached his duty of care.

Causation

The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the deceased’s death. Causation can be established through various means, such as medical evidence, witness testimony, or expert testimony. For example, if a driver runs a red light and causes a fatal car accident, the plaintiff must show that the driver’s negligence caused the deceased’s death.

Foreseeability

Foreseeability refers to the ability to anticipate the harm that could result from the defendant’s breach of duty. To establish negligence in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the damage suffered by the deceased was foreseeable. For instance, if a landlord fails to fix a broken stair railing, and a tenant falls down the stairs and dies, the plaintiff must show that the landlord could have foreseen the harm that resulted from their negligence.

Comparative Negligence

In some cases, the plaintiff’s own negligence may have contributed to the deceased’s death. In such instances, comparative negligence may come into play. Comparative negligence is a legal concept that allows the plaintiff to recover damages even if they were the party responsible for the deceased’s death. However, the plaintiff’s injuries may be reduced to reflect their share of the fault.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are a common cause of wrongful death lawsuits. When a driver’s negligence causes an accident that results in death, close family members can file a wrongful death law suit. These claims may be brought against the driver or other parties, such as the vehicle manufacturer. For example, in the case of Paul Walker’s death, his daughter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche, alleging that the car was unsafe and had design flaws that contributed to the accident.

Defective Products

Defective products can also lead to wrongful death lawsuits. If a person dies as a result of a faulty or dangerous product, the deceased person’s family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the product. These claims may allege that the company knew about the risks associated with the product but failed to warn consumers. For instance, in the case of talcum powder, a family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of a popular brand, alleging that it caused ovarian cancer that led to the death of their loved one.

Premises Liability Accidents

Premises liability accidents occur when a person dies on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition, such as a slippery floor or a broken railing. Surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the property owner or manager. In a recent case, the family of a woman who died after falling from a balcony at an Airbnb rental property filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the property owner and Airbnb, claiming that the property was unsafe and that the company failed to adequately screen hosts and properties for safety risks.

Wrongful death cases

are complex legal proceedings that require the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Understanding the legal terms used in these cases, you can better understand the legal process and what to expect during a wrongful death case. Remember, if you believe that someone you love has died due to someone else’s wrongful actions or negligence, seeking legal advice from an experienced wrongful death attorney as quickly as possible to protect your rights and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions is essential.