When a person dies due to the negligence of another, a wrongful death claim can be filed against them. There are close to 100,000 cases of wrongful death reported each year in the United States. Naturally, many of these cases end with the family of the deceased being compensated for their pain and suffering. Workplace injuries, vehicular accidents, malpractice, and toxic exposure are some of the most common factors in wrongful death cases. However, the main cause in each case is the carelessness of another party. If you and your family have recently experienced the loss of a family member due to negligence, it’s important to have legal representation. A skilled wrongful death attorney can provide guidance in your family’s difficult time, and help you receive compensation for your loss.
Who Can File
Immediate family members can almost always file a suit against the party responsible for the death of their loved one. Immediate family includes spouses, children, and in some instances, parents. Depending on state laws, other members of the family can file as well, such as siblings, and financial dependents. Aunts, uncles, or grandparents can sometimes file if the victim was a minor and was living in their care. An experienced wrongful death attorney Fresno professional will be able to provide a complete list of who can file based on the laws of your state.
Wrongful death claims normally must be filed within two years of the accident. Therefore, it’s important not to wait to file. If you wait, your settlement may be at risk. The damages that often awarded in wrongful death cases include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages are awarded to cover funeral expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, and more. Non-economic damages provide recompense for the emotional pain and trauma of the surviving members of the family. Punitive damages normally consist of heavy fines, and are enacted to punish the party responsible.