Wrongful Death Lawyer Ben Roberts

Expect in a Lawsuit

What Wrongful Death Lawyers

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed to collect monetary compensation for the death of another person.

The lawsuit is often filed by the survivors or estate of a deceased person against another whose misbehavior or negligence resulted in the decedent’s wrongful death. Every state has a wrongful death statute, that defines what wrongful death is, specifies who is eligible to file a claim, and details some of the damages that may be granted if a claim is successful.
A wrongful death lawsuit will likely be accompanied by complex legal difficulties, which will require complex expert testimony to value the damages. To put it another way, you shouldn’t try to handle this situation by yourself, instead, find a knowledgeable lawyer to represent you.

Anytime you wish to file a claim for someone else's death, it's important to follow your state's wrongful death statute.

To put it another way, you must adhere to your state’s wrongful death statute to file a claim for someone else’s death. The court will dismiss any lawsuit you attempt to file if it doesn’t adhere to the statute’s requirements. There are many state-by-state wrongful death resources online that explore individual state statutes.
In most states, the statute of limitations on bringing a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the decedent’s passing. If you attempt to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed, it is likely that your claim will be dropped. Understanding the statute of limitations can be extraordinarily difficult, and the consequences of doing it wrong can be detrimental. If you have doubts about the deadline for filing a wrongful death claim, talk with a lawyer in your state.

It is important to note that each state has its own wrongful death statute, so be sure to research the specifics in your state.

In general, a state’s wrongful death statutes will explain what a wrongful death is, person or people who are eligible to file a lawsuit, and outline the damages that can be awarded.
Each state’s wrongful death legislation determines who’s permitted to pursue a wrongful death suit. It will typically fall under one of these two groups, either only survivors of the decedent can sue, or the decedent’s estate can sue.

Wrongful death statutes differ greatly with regard to damages.

Some statutes are extremely thorough, listing exact monetary damages that can be given to certain survivors. While others discuss damages in more general terms, specifying that admissible damages include damages for specific losses. Nonetheless, most statutes specify the types of economic and non-economic damages that might be paid in the event of a successful claim.

Economic damages

Economic damages are basically money damages. Some examples of this would be; loss of support and income, lost value of household, funeral expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses suffered due to the decedent’s death.

Noneconomic Damages

are losses that are typically harder to quantify but can sometimes be among the most important and persuasive losses in a wrongful death lawsuit. Typical examples include losing the decedent’s; love, comfort, and sense of safety, as well as the emotional support they provided.

A Wrongful Death Lawyer must prove:

The defendant is legally liable for the decedent's death, and that you experienced losses/damages as a result of the defendant's misconduct.

In most circumstances, proving the defendant’s legal liability for the death and demonstrating your damages come together to show that the defendant’s misbehavior resulted in your damages. Essentially, if you can demonstrate that the defendant was negligently liable for the decedent’s death and that you experienced losses as a result, it shows that the defendant was also to blame for your losses.

Just like most personal injury cases, it is common that wrongful death cases end up being settled.

 However, because wrongful death claims are bound by statutes, state law may require additional conditions on a settlement.

For example, court approval might be needed for the settlement to be finalized.

If any of the survivors are children under the age of 18, this will almost always be the case. Settlement awards for children are usually placed in a guardianship and are kept under court supervision until the settlement funds are exhausted or the child enters adulthood. For any survivors who experience severe mental or emotional disabilities or if the survivors cannot agree on how to divide the settlement funds, court approval will also be required.