Losing a loved one, in any way, is always tragic. Nothing can bring that person back or make you whole again, but a civil lawsuit against the party at fault for the death can bring some level of justice and closure. Regardless of whether there is also a criminal action against the responsible individual, it is essential to contact a personal injury attorney to preserve your rights in the civil justice system. I work closely with crime victims and the families of wrongful death victims to ensure those who caused the death of their loved one is held responsible. There might be more than one defendant, and it can include a person, business or governmental entity, such as a public school or the Department of Human Services.
Wrongful death refers to a lawsuit alleging the victim was killed as a result of another’s negligence. A defendant can be held liable for the wrongful death of another even if there was no direct intent to kill them. Usually, to succeed in such an action, the plaintiff must prove the defendant(s) was/were negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely negligent or strictly liable than not.
The death of a family member causes tremendous pain and turmoil, along with unimaginable loss within the family. Typically, the suddenness of the death leaves the family feeling confused, angry and powerless, with many questions unanswered. Of course, hiring a lawyer in the immediate aftermath might seem unimportant in the face of such a severe loss, but it is a time-sensitive, critical decision that might dramatically impact the lives of the surviving immediate family members. Unfortunately, the person and/or company at fault for causing someone’s death are not held accountable due to the failure of surviving family members to institute prompt legal action. All too often, critical evidence is destroyed in the days and weeks following the fatal incident. State laws governing wrongful death might the possibility of recovery or bar legal action when certain legal criteria or time limitations are not satisfied. Therefore, the surviving family members should consult with a personal injury right away to ensure they preserve their rights and meet all crucial timelines.
Skilled personal injury attorneys who pursue wrongful death claims appreciate both the complex legal issues and the powerful emotional trauma involved in a death claim. That attorney will vigilantly represent the rights of the victim while assisting the surviving family members in a responsible yet compassionate manner. In my current private civil practice and formerly as a Deputy District Attorney, I have personally helped many victims and families through such a loss.
Common Wrongful Death Cases:
- Auto collisions
- Drunk driving
- Medical malpractice
- Poor choices of a caretaker
- Dangerous or defective products or drugs
- Various other negligent or criminal acts