Losing a loved one is painful enough but for those who have wrongfully lost fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters through the fault or negligence of another, the pain is all the more acute and bitter. While death and loss of a loved one or a family member can never be compensated, accountability and payment of damages may be demanded by the aggrieved party. And certainly, the pursuit of such claims requires the presence of Redding wrongful death attorneys who could best represent the interests of the victims family.
Legal counsel is essential in a wrongful death claim as there are procedures and certain elements or requisites needed to substantiate your claim or make a successful case.
First, it is important to know when one can actually file for a wrongful death suit. It is necessary that there is:
- Death of a person caused partly or in whole by the action or inaction of the defendant
- The presence of fault or negligence; or the intent to harm
- Family members who suffer from the loss of the earnings or money as a result of the wrongful death
- Appointment of a personal representative for the deceaseds estate
Wrongful death may take the form of loss of a loved one in scenarios such as:
- Car or motor vehicle accidents through the fault and negligence of another
- Defective products and pharmaceuticals that fail to meet safety standards,
- Medical malpractice
- Occupational exposure to toxic substances and chemicals and
- Death during a supervised activity
Only the deceased’s immediate family members may bring an action for wrongful death. A suit for wrongful death may only be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate who may be the spouse, the child, siblings, or parents. A friend, a colleague or a concerned citizen does not have any legal standing or right to file for a wrongful death claim.
Getting legal help is a must if one would decide to pursue a lawsuit especially since there is a deadline for filing wrongful death claims. Pecuniary or financial loss suffered by the deceaseds family is the main measure of damages and primary consideration in a wrongful death suit. These damages may be proven through the loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses incurred by the surviving family.
Actions for personal injury, conscious pain and suffering, or expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death may also be filed. However, it is up to legal professionals such as Redding wrongful death attorneys to build up a strong case as the burden of proof in wrongful death cases rests on the plaintiff. The preponderance of evidence must clearly show that the defendants conduct was the proximate cause of the death of the decedent thus entitling family members to an award for damages.
In some ways, while death of a loved one or family member is life-changing, being able to get justice and being awarded damages in a wrongful death lawsuit is a huge step in the recovery process. People are irreplaceable but through a successful wrongful death claim, surviving family members would be given the opportunity to set things right and have a fresh start.