Losing a loved one in a serious accident is one of the most traumatic experiences you can suffer.
Nothing can erase the pain, but there’s a legal solution to getting monetary compensation if someone else caused the accident.
When someone’s death occurs at the fault of another party (such as a car maker), their family members can sue for wrongful death. Such a case seeks damages for the loss incurred by the deceased’s dependants, like lost companionship, lost earnings, and funeral expenses.
Here’s an overview on how a wrongful death lawsuit works. You’ll find out what it is, the common causes, who can bring a wrongful death suit, and how to bring a wrongful death suit.
What’s a Wrongful Death Suit?
Representatives of the victim file a wrongful death suit when someone dies due to the wrongful or negligent act of another individual. In the case of a negligent or intentional homicide, the prosecutor can bring charges and start a criminal case against the party responsible.
However, the deceased’s family also has a civil option in bringing a wrongful death case against the party at fault for the death.
The deceased’s family can recover various damages. Some of these damages include the deceased’s pain and suffering before death, medical bills, and lost wages. A jury may also award compensation for the loss of financial assistance and companionship from the deceased.
What Makes up a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In any wrongful death case, the family of the deceased can bring a case that the death was due to the defendant’s actions. To have a successful wrongful death case, the deceased’s family must show:
- That the defendant caused the victim’s death
- The defendant was negligent, reckless, or intentionally caused the death of the victim, or that the accused was strictly liable in causing the victim’s death
- There are surviving dependents and beneficiaries
- The surviving dependents and beneficiaries have suffered financial loss after the victim’s death
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Lawyers that focus on wrongful death lawsuits and claims are usually involved in various cases with familiar causes, such as:
- Birth injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Product defects
- Motorcycle, automobile, or truck accidents
- Premises accidents
- Occupational hazards and exposure
- Assisted living and nursing home abuse and neglect
- Criminal actions like stabbings, shootings, and blatant violence
- Supervised activities like field trips, day care, and adult care
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit
A representative of the deceased’s family must bring forth a wrongful death case. In most cases, it’s the executor of the deceased’s estate who files the claim.
The deceased’s beneficiaries and dependants vary with states, so read more here.
Immediate Family Members
Immediate family members such as spouses, kids, and parents of singletons can file wrongful death suits in all states.
Distant Family Members
In some states, distant relatives like siblings and grandparents can file wrongful death claims.
For instance, a grandparent who’s looking after a child can sue for wrongful death.
Parents of a Dead Fetus
Some states allow parents to file a wrongful death suit if their fetus dies. Several other states don’t allow this. In those states, parents can only sue for wrongful death if the child was born alive and died shortly thereafter.
Life Partners, Putative Spouses, and Financial Dependents
In some states, a life or domestic partner, a putative spouse (someone who strongly believed they were in a marriage with the deceased), or a financial dependant can file a claim.
All People Who Suffer Financially
In some states, everyone who suffers financially due to the death can file a wrongful death case for lost support or care. This applies even if they aren’t related to the victim by blood or marriage.
What’s Statute of Limitations
Learning the statute of limitations in your state is an important step when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Each state has its own time limits within which someone can bring a wrongful death suit.
- The statute of limitations in Florida is two years from when the death occurred.
- The statute of limitations is also two years in California.
- The statute of limitations in Montana is three years.
In some cases, the wrongful death statute of limitations takes effect from the date of the death while in others it’ll take effect on “discovery of harm”.
For instance, if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer and the error isn’t discovered for years, the statute of limitations might not begin until the patient discovers cancer.
If your state’s statute of limitations has run out, then, unfortunately, you won’t be able to file a wrongful death suit.
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
At first, your lawyer might try to settle your case by demanding compensation from the defendant. If your case isn’t settled here, your next move is to file a certain document known as a complaint to get the wrongful death case started.
The plaintiff is the individual filing the lawsuit while the defendant is the person hit with the lawsuit. The complaint gives the reasons why the defendant is being sued by the plaintiff. It also states the law supporting the plaintiff’s case and what damages are being demanded by the plaintiff.
A third party serves the complaint to the defendant.
The defendant has a specific time to respond to the complaint, like 20-30 days. This response is normally known as an answer. The reply states the defendant’s defense against the plaintiff’s claim and aims to get the plaintiff’s claim dismissed.
Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If your loved one died due to another company’s or person’s negligence or wrongful actions, you should hire a local wrongful death attorney.
With more than 300 law firms across the country, Halt Lawyer Directory is the best resource for finding the right attorney for your needs.
For more legal information and advice about a wrongful death lawsuit or other cases, be sure to browse through our blog.
Over the course of the last several days, there has been a flurry of discussion regarding Netflix’s latest documentary, The Bleeding Edge. Much like its predecessors (Making a Murderer, The Keepers, Evil Genius), this hour and forty-minute film (directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering) takes a very raw and uncensored look at the $300 billion medical device industry and how, every year, thousands of innocent people fall victim to its profit-driven agenda; begging the ultimate question, what price is the American public paying for the sake of advancing medical science?
Sadly, The Bleeding Edge is rife with examples of the price Americans are paying for the sake of advancing medical science. Interviews with women having received the Essure permanent birth control device reveal how over 35,000 women have had their lives reduced to chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, and hysterectomies as a result of Bayer’s failure to report the side effects associated with its device. Individuals having received metal hip implants discuss their development of cobalt chromium metal poisoning and the related onset of debilitating neurological deficits. Other women detail the multiple and painful surgeries they have undergone in an attempt to remove the vaginal mesh strangulating their bodies, which had originally been used to help stabilize and reinforce weakened pelvic muscles often caused by childbirth and aging. Even more women discuss how sections of their colon exploded from their bodies following their surgeons’ use of the robotic, da Vinci System.
For years, industry has pushed this idea that newer is better and that new and “innovative” medical devices put us on the “cutting edge” of science. However, The Bleeding Edge most accurately dispels this myth, delving into the world of medical devices, exposing the stark reality of how industry’s push for “innovation,” coupled with a lax regulatory system, actually puts us on The Bleeding Edge of science, as every time a patient agrees to the implantation of a medical device, he or she is unknowingly subjecting his or herself to unimaginable harm, or even death.
THE MEDICAL DEVICE INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL INDUSTRIES IN THE WORLD
Over the last ten years, 70 million Americans have been implanted with a medical device. These devices are a part of our everyday lives, ranging from dental floss and tongue depressors, to pace makers and catheters. Stryker, one of the leading manufacturers of hip and knee replacement components had a net revenue of $12.7 billion in 2017. Bayer, the manufacturer of several contraceptive devices, including, Mirena and Essure, made well over $40 billion in revenue, and Johnson & Johnson, a manufacturer of vaginal and hernia mesh made over $76 billion in revenue in 2017. The profit margin of the medical device industry is frightening in that it has afforded these companies the opportunity to infiltrate our lives under the guise of medical advancement, all the while exposing us to perilous harm.
THE PROCESS BY WHICH THE FDA APPROVES MEDICAL DEVICES IS SIGNIFICANTLY OUTDATED
The Bleeding Edge highlights the misconception under which many Americans operate – that their medical device has been adequately tested and deemed safe and effective for use by the FDA. Since 1976, it has been the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the approval of medical devices. However, since 1976, the complexity, type, and number of medical devices has vastly increased, but whether they are released for public use is still based on a system created over 40 years ago; one clearly incapable of contemplating today’s technology.
98% of all medical devices are not tested prior to approval. Rather, manufacturers are able to acquire approval of medical devices by the system known as the 510(K) process. To obtain approval under the 510(K) process, a manufacturer is only required to show that its device is substantially similar to another (predicate) device that was previously approved by the FDA; absolutely zero safety testing is required. This is true even if the predicate device was taken off the market for safety concerns. Per the FDA, in considering a 510(K) application, it does not check the predicate device for safety issues, or to see if it has been removed from the market; it only looks to confirm that it was actually approved by the FDA. Consequently, much like a genetic mutation, approving a product that is based on the design of a device that has been found to be unsafe, promotes the production of faulty devices in generations to come.
WE CAN NO LONGER RELY ON THE MEDICAL DEVICE COMPANIES AND THE FDA TO DO WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF PATIENTS
Even more, The Bleeding Edge calls attention to the seemingly biased and corrupt workings of the FDA. FDA officials and physicians charged with the responsibility of determining whether a device should be approved, more often than not, have stock or other monetary interests in those exact devices before them for approval. For example, prior to Dr. Scott Gottlieb (current FDA Commissioner) being appointed commissioner, he not only worked as a consultant to a range of medical industries, but he worked for a venture capitalist firm, New Enterprise Associates, that specialized in the investment of startup medical device companies, which has invested $14 billion in over 500 companies, including the development of the very controversial permanent birth control device, Essure.
MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS ARE NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE
Another misconception addressed by The Bleeding Edge is that the FDA has the data it needs to regulate or recall medical devices. Some safety issues with a device do not become apparent until after the device is already on the market. In these instances, a manufacturer has an absolute obligation to monitor and report such safety issues (adverse events) to the FDA. If enough adverse events are reported for a particular device, the FDA will then decide if the device needs: further safety testing; stronger warnings; or to be pulled from the market altogether. However, if the FDA is unaware of the adverse events, it cannot make the decisions necessary to protect us. The disturbing and unfortunate reality of the situation is that only 3-4% of adverse events are reported by device manufacturers, and the more severe an event, the less likely it is to be reported. Thus, the whole idea of the FDA relying on a company to essentially “tell on itself” when something goes wrong with a device, when billions of dollars of profits are at stake, is not only counter intuitive, but a system that completely fails the American people.
Leaders in industry argue that to impose stricter regulations on how medical devices are approved, is to stifle innovation. However, as Bleeding Edge explains, the aim of regulation is not to stifle innovation, but to call real attention to the safety risks that these newer and “innovative” devices pose to patients. After all, innovation doesn’t necessarily mean better. It means “massive adoption of new technology with little evaluation of the outcomes”, or “putting untested devices on the market.”
HOW THE YOST LEGAL GROUP CAN HELP
For years the attorneys at The Yost Legal Group have litigated cases against device and drug manufacturers all in an effort to not only bring awareness to the same issues addressed by The Bleeding Edge, but to hold those same manufacturers accountable for the devastating injuries they have caused our clients. Presently, our firm is involved in the following litigations against various device and drug manufacturers.
- ESSURE PERMANENT BIRTH CONTROL: Currently investigating cases against Bayer, involving women who have had to have a hysterectomy following their implantation of the permanent birth control device, Essure.
- HERNIA MESH: Currently investigating claims against several manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard, and Atrium Medical, on behalf of individuals having suffered serious complications from synthetic mesh implanted during hernia repair surgery.
- IVC BLOOD CLOT FILTERS: Currently investigating cases against device manufacturers, C. R. Bard, Cook Medical, and Cordis, involving individuals having suffered serious side effects, including death, following their implantation of an IVC blood clot filter.
- SMITH & NEPHEW HIPS: Currently investigating cases against Smith & Nephew, involving individuals who have had to have additional hip replacement surgeries following their implantation of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System, or the R3 Acetabular System, both of which have multiple components made of cobalt chromium metal.
- STRYKER LFIT V40: Currently investigating claims against Stryker, on behalf of individuals who have had to have additional hip replacement surgeries following their implantation of the Stryker Rejuvenate Modular Primary Hip System, the AGB II Modular Hip System, or the LFIT V40 femoral head, all of which contain metal on metal components.
- MIRENA IUD: Currently investigating cases against Bayer involving women who have been diagnosed with intracranial hypertension following their implantation of the intrauterine device (“IUD”), Mirena.
- DIABETES MEDICATIONS (Januvia, Janumet, Tradjenta, Byetta, Victoza, Onglyza, etc.): Currently investigating claims against various manufacturers, on behalf of individuals having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer following their use of medications belonging to a class of drugs known as incretins (Januvia, Janumet, Tradjenta, Byetta, Victoza, Onglyza, etc.), prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a faulty medical device or defective drug, The Yost Legal Group may be able to help. Our team of experienced legal professionals is here to offer you free, individual consultation. We serve as the voice of our clients to hold Big Pharma accountable and obtain the justice each one so rightfully deserves. Call The Yost Legal Group (1-800-YOST-LAW) today. Let us be your voice.
When you’re the victim of a semi-truck accident, it’s natural to wonder what to do next. When you understand the law and how the legal system works for accident victims, you can do the right things to protect yourself. Here are the answers to five common semi-truck accident questions:
Is Indiana a no-fault state?
Indiana is an at-fault state for semi-truck accidents. Because Indiana is an at-fault state, you can bring a claim for recovery any time the semi-truck driver is legally liable for your injuries. There are no special rules about collecting first from your own insurance or any requirements about certain types of injuries. You can seek compensation from the semi-truck driver any time they’re legally responsible for the accident.
What do I have to prove to win?
To win your case, you show that the semi-truck driver caused your injuries by driving in a negligent, reckless or intentionally harmful way. You don’t have to prove that the other driver caused the accident on purpose. Instead, you have to show that the semi-truck driver acted without reasonable care and caution in a way that caused your injuries. Because they drive large vehicles for commercial purposes, semi-truck drivers have very high standards to drive carefully on the road. If they’re not careful and the result is that you suffer injuries, you may receive compensation.
What if I might have done something that added to the accident?
It may still be possible to bring a claim for compensation after a semi-truck accident even if you think your actions may have contributed to the accident. Under Indiana law, you can still win compensation as long as you’re not more than 50 percent to blame for the crash. You can present evidence at trial in order to explain the events leading up to the accident to the jury.
Can I still bring my case if there’s a criminal case?
A semi-truck accident may result in a criminal case against the semi-truck driver. The driver may face charges of drunk driving, reckless driving or other criminal offenses. Even if the state’s attorney brings criminal charges against the semi-truck driver, there are several reasons to pursue a civil claim in addition to the criminal charges.
The standards for proof are different in criminal and civil cases. You can win your case even if the driver doesn’t receive a conviction for criminal charges. In a civil case, you control the presentation of evidence. In addition, there are broader categories of damages that you can claim in a civil case than are available to a victim in a criminal case.
Is there a way to hold the driver’s employer responsible?
The best course of action may be to bring a claim against the driver and their employer. Corporations who employ semi-truck drivers have a duty to employ safe drivers. They must make sure their employees are qualified drivers and that they employ safe practices like getting enough rest. If the employer’s failures led to the accident, the employer may be liable as well as the driver.
Navigating after a semi-truck accident
A semi-truck accident can be a life-changing experience that leaves you frustrated and confused. Indiana’s at-fault system allows victims to seek compensation when they’re hurt because of a semi-truck accident. Your time to bring a claim may be limited. General legal principles of negligence apply to semi-truck accident cases. In some cases, the driver’s employer may also share legal liability.
The cases of personal injuries arise when someone gets injured resulted from the negligent or intentional acts. Talking about personal injuries, it is divided into two parts, i.e., physical injury and psychological injury. Physical injury can be raised due to the traffic accident, injury at work, or injury caused by other intentionally. Psychological injuries cause stress. If you are not getting proper treatment or vaccinations in hospital, then this can also be treated as the psychological and physical injury.
“On the other hand, serious personal injuries can result in very high costs. You may need immediate treatment for the injuries, but the treatment can be very expensive,” according to Tsion Chudnovsky, a Spanish speaking personal injury lawyer at Abogados de Accidentes. “U.S. tort laws give you the right to file claims for full compensation and register a case against the wrongdoer.”
For this, you may need to take help of a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer will help you to get the rights compensation that you deserve for your injury. The best personal injury attorney will help you in filing a personal injury lawsuit. There are some cases which are resolved in informal ways by settlement negotiations. If the case is a serious one, then that goes to trial. Generally, in the lawsuit, the person who suffers from the personal injury seeks a determination that the defendant has some legal faults and a determination of money which fair compensation for the injuries will be suffered.
What does the victim need to prove in Court?
The victim here must prove that he or she is innocent and the third party causes the injuries. The complainant must prove that the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the person suffers from injuries under the circumstances and also need to prove that the defendant has failed to fulfill legal duty by doing or not doing something that caused the victim to suffer damages and loss. For example, if you have faced a car accident happened due to the negligence of third party or the defendant, then you must have to prove that it was the fault of the defendant. You can file for a settlement or compensation.
Damages which can be considered as the personal injury
When you injured in an accident, you file a lawsuit for compensation. You are entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. The money is awarded for your pain and injuries. This is called as damages. As per the law, the defendant is responsible for paying damages to the plaintiff or the injured person, if the defendant is found guilty.
The common types of damages are compensatory damages which are paid to compensate an individual for loss, injury, or damages incurred from third party’s carelessness. In the field of personal injury, damages are awarded if there was a breach of wrong civil action. The applicant or the injured person get compensation based on the position of the damages.
However, in case of personal injury damages, it is divided into two categories, i.e., special damages and general damages.
Under the general damages, the injured party is compensated for their injuries by monetary aspects. General damages may include:
- Physical pain.
- Emotional suffering.
- Mental or physical impairment.
Here you must prove that these damages occurred as a result of the injury and not pee-existing conditions. After that only you will be entitled to get compensation.
Now, talking about special damages, the victim is compensated for the monetary losses suffered because of an injury caused by the third party. Monetary compensation can be awarded for many numbers of reasons. But some common reasons are:
- Lost earnings.
- Repairing or replacing property.
- Compensating for irreplaceable items.
- Covering extra costs associated with the injury.
In the case of repairing or replacing property and seeking compensation for any irreplaceable items, you must prove that your property was damaged in the accident or wrongful event caused by others. Otherwise, you may not ask for compensation.
Detail information about damages and compensation
Pain and Suffering:
You have the right to get compensation for your physical pain and mental anguish that you have suffered and will endure in the future because of your injury. Such damages also called as non-economical damages.
Medical expenses for treatment:
You have the right to receive compensation for all medical bills incurred in the treatment of injuries. You also can claim for the compensation for future medical treatment expenses.
Damages that lead to loss of earning:
You are also qualified to get monetary compensation for your loss of earning capacity due to injuries. Your earnings like lost wages or salaries, bonus, commissions and fringe benefits all are recoverable, and you can file a claim for this.
Loss of future is earning:
If you have lost your future earning capacity in an accident caused by the third party, you can file a claim to recover the value of your future earning capacity.
Damages lead to wrongful death:
Damages for wrongful death claims are available for your wife, parent, and child. The persons connected by blood or by marriage, who is depended upon the deceased, can ask for rightful recovery.
Its related to marks or scars caused by injury. You can file for compensation associated with deformity.
Injury leads to damage to the marital life:
Sometimes, serious injuries can damage the marital relationship. If such situation arises, you have right to recover for assistance, conjugal, loss of sexual relationship and affection.
Harm to the personal property:
For example, if you faced an auto accident and your vehicle gets damaged, you are entitled to recover the cost. If the vehicle is destroyed, you can ask for replacement cost. Apart from that, you may recover the cost of alternative transportation incurred while your vehicle is being repaired.
Where to file personal injury lawsuits and what are the after that?
Generally, all the personal injury lawsuits come under state court’s jurisdiction of the country, where the damages or injuries have occurred. If the parties in a personal injury case live in other states, then for such cases the personal injury lawsuits can be filed in the federal trial courts.
Here, the lawyer of the victim develops a legal complaint which will contain all the allegation and then register the case with the required court. After that, the lawyer gets a summon from the court where the case is registered. Then the lawyer gives a complaint, summons and a list of damages on the defendant. After that, the defendant will be given 30 days to submit the answer. If the defendant fails, the victim can seek a default judgment against the defendant.
However, if the defendant has submitted the answer, the attorney of both the parties, i.e., the victim and the defendant will start the further legal proceedings. Both the sides will be called for interrogation to know the facts about what happened, who is at fault and what is the measure of the damages. The lawyer of the defendant will be given the copies of the medical treatment bills or damages bill, and the lawyer will determine if the total cost is reasonable. Sometimes, the defendant’s attorney hires experts to evaluate the nature of the injury and the expert will give an opinion the amount is reasonable or not.
The personal injury attorney may hire accident investigator to determine how the events at issue unfolded. Another important factor is the deposition. The lawyers for both sides will interrogate the involved parties and witness. The recorded facts and information are transcribed. That information is transcribed and can be used in for trial.
Information that the attorney will need from you:
- The date of the accident.
- Contact details of any witnesses.
- All the information related with the personal inures that you have and medical diagnosis and what type of treatment you received.
- Whether you have any insurance policies for a legal procedure or not? Such insurance can reduce your legal fees or expenses.
- Some evidence which can prove your earning loss and damages.
- Insurance documents which can cover your losses like health insurance and vehicle insurance.
- Documents related to any previous claiming case.
Personal injury trial period
During the trial period, the judge will analyse the evidence and witness and will decide who is legally responsible for the injuries of the victim. Then, the victim will be given a chance to present the case, and the defendant can try to refute that case. The defendant can submit the proofs related to the case to prove his or her innocence. Sometimes, the situation can arise like the defendant will admit the liability but will not agree with the nature of injuries and necessity of the victim’s treatment. However, after both side’s arguments, the judge will determine who is guilty and will inform the amount of money or compensation a defendant must pay.
How long does a personal lawsuit take?
Well, the duration of the case can vary with the cases. It is not possible to give a perfect answer about how long the lawsuit will take. There are some cases which take at least a year from the date of filing the complaint to get to settle, and some may take around six months. So, it is quite unpredictable. However, a personal injury lawsuit can take 2 to 3 years to get settled.
Factors that play an important role in personal injury verdict
The important factor that can affect in determining the verdict of a personal injury lawsuit case it the jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction follows different laws which are based on:
- The process of fault determination.
- How is the level of harm evaluated?
- What kind of personal injury is the person suffering from?
Some jurisdictions follow unique laws in the determination of evidence that are admissible in the court.
Is it possible to resolve the personal injury case before the verdict?
Yes, there are some cases which can be settled before trial verdict. As per the record, most of the claims related to accidents do not move to trail round as they are resolved through a settlement, outside of the court. Some cases are adjudicated before the filing of the lawsuit. However, to settle a personal injury lawsuit, the victim must give up the right to ask for further claims against the party with whom the victim is settling in exchange of money paid by the party or by the insurance company.
How much compensation is the victim entitled to get?
The value of compensation depends on the damages that you have received from the personal injury. The personal accident attorney can help you to evaluate the value by examining your medical treatment and medical bills. Each personal injury cases is unique. You can’t just follow normal calculation procedure to evaluate the damage. The attorney considers facts and circumstances under which the damages have occurred and then determine the perfect value of your compensation.
To win the case, your attorney needs to develop an adequate and simple method to present your case before the jury. The attorney needs to explain the laws which are related to the case with sufficient evidence. Your injury attorney will try the best to prove that the defendants should be held liable and will offer compensation to the victim for the damages that the defendant has caused. Well, it may sound very simple but, the process is very complex and can be very lengthy.
Some attorney uses video and audio aids to assist the case at trial. It can strengthen the case. Nowadays, most of the judges prefer to go with audio and visual aids. Photos of the accident and videos of events help the judges to understand the issues. Don’t start the case with boring practices or monotonous questionnaires. Such method will not help you to prove your case.
The most important thing that your injury attorney should do above all is to give you a fair assessment of your situation. If the attorney doesn’t think that the case is strong enough to go to court, the attorney will inform you that. If your case is solid and you have the proper evidence, the lawyer will, and the case can be settled in few months.
Have you recently been injured in a car accident? If you have, you may be wondering whether or not you should hire a personal injury lawyer. After all, he could help you file your claim against the insurance agency.
To find out what you should do, take a look below.
We’ll provide a clear guide to when you need to work with a personal injury lawyer versus when it may not be necessary. With this information, you can make the best decision for your current situation.
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you want to, you can file your personal injury claim against the insurance agency completely on your own.
To do that, though, you need to have time available to research the claims process. Submitting a claim is easier when you only sustain a mild injury.
If you have time on your hands and haven’t sustained any serious injuries, you may be better off just to file the claim yourself.
Since you only have mild injuries, your case isn’t going to be too complex, so you won’t have as much need for an attorney for personal injury. Plus, you won’t have to worry about figuring out how to find them.
What’s more? Attorneys don’t work for free. If you want to save money and not have to pay legal fees, it’s best to represent yourself.
The severity of injuries is often determined by the following factors:
- The type of injury (or injuries)
- The cost of your medical bills
- How long it will take to recover
Severe injuries typically fall into two categories. They are either long-term injuries that may take a year or more to fully recover from, or permanent – meaning you will be disabled for the restof your life.
If you’re in a car accident and sustain a serious injury (or multiple injuries), you’ll want to have a personal injury lawyer represent you. They will have access to more resources than you do and can help you win your case.
If you’re located in Phoenix, Arizona, for example, and have recently been seriously injured, Zanes Law will work with you. It’s no need to worry about the bill until they’re successful in recovering your financial compensation. This is an example of a firm that operates on a contingency fee.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent You Today
In the event that you have sustained a long-term or permanent injury as a result of a car accident, hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you.
With our easy to use “Search for a Lawyer” function, you can find the right lawyer for you faster than you can say “We won!”
Don’t wait. Resolve your case today!
Undergoing medical procedures is hard and scary enough, let alone the fact that medical errors are probably the third leading cause of death in the United States.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a serious medical issue, then the expertise of medical professionals is something you dearly rely on.
When carelessness leads to a wrongful death, though, you might be the survivor left in the wake wondering what you should do.
If you’re wondering what exactly is a wrongful death suit or how one is begun, then we have some important information to get you on your way.
What is a Wrongful Death Suit?
It sounds simple: a death that shouldn’t have happened.
An important distinction between wrongful death cases and something like murder cases is that “wrongful death” falls under personal injury law.
“But how can someone’s death be considered injury?” you may be asking the screen.
A lawsuit like this is based on the negligence or misconduct of another. It’s not necessarily the same as with criminal cases like murder.
While a wrongful death lawsuit may come out in the aftermath of a criminal case, these types of suits tend to be associated with particular instances, such as:
- Medical malpractice
- Vehicular accidents
- Occupational hazards
- Death during a supervised activity
- and more
For example, if you or a loved one were to have died while flying on a plane, is it possible that the pilot was negligent in handling the aircraft? Therefore, would the plane company also be responsible for hiring the pilot in the first place? Even the fastest jets can be cause of death as well as the slowest.
If your child died while out on a field trip, is it the chaperone, teacher, or another supervisor who was negligent in watching out for and caring for your child? Could it even be the school itself?
Medical malpractice is another common instance. Mistakes happen. If you’re dealing with a very large hospital, it’s not unheard of that a nurse may give the wrong medication to a patient or a surgeon may receive the wrong information leading up to a surgery.
The point is, someone or something is very possibly responsible for the negligence that led to the death in the first place.
Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim?
These claims are made by someone who represents the estate of the one who died.
Who can initiate this claim, though, tends to be different from state to state.
In general, a parent can make a wrongful death claim of their child, a child can of their parents, and an individual can file for their spouse, but it gets trickier when you’re dealing with adults and their adult children or distant family.
Whether the people involved are related or not, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the individual can sue for the wrongful death.
It’s important to check your state’s statutes to understand who can make this kind of claim.
What Comes out of a Wrongful Death Suit?
Grieving for a loved one is consuming. You may need to consider or want to consider what could come out as a result of a wrongful death claim.
It’s important to understand what may have been lost by the death, such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost support
- Lost prospect of inheritance
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- and more
Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and to discourage this type of behavior in the future. Whether or not you are entitled to punitive damages from suing for wrongful death is, again, based on your state.
Regardless, you may be entitled to some of these damages as a result, and whether or not you want to even think about it now, your future self and family may be happy that you did.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Suit?
If you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, it may be difficult to even think about a timeframe.
Time is important in a case like this, though.
As with many claims, including personal injury claims, your state will have a statute of limitations devoted to how long after a wrongful death a claim may be made.
This can still depend on a number of factors, such as which state you are in, who you are claiming as the defendant, and when the death occurred.
How long you have may not necessarily start from when the death occurred, though.
For example, if you’re dealing with medical malpractice, the death of your loved one may have been declared natural. Some time down the line, new evidence may determine that medical malpractice was the real cause of death.
Specific situations like these can change the timeframe in which you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How to File a Wrongful Death Suit
Based on your state’s statutes and the specific circumstances surrounding the death, you may find that you are eligible to file.
You may not even be the person benefiting from the suit, but you can still possibly file on behalf of them.
As with many cases, you have the right to represent yourself, but as clearly shown there are so many factors that determine whether or not you can even file in the first place.
Not only that but as the one making the wrongful death claim in the first place, the burden of proof falls on you alone.
Being a civil case, the burden of proof for a wrongful death suit is generally less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
It’s typically called “preponderance of the evidence” in this kind of case, which means the proposition being made is more likely to be true than not.
In general, hiring or at least consulting with a wrongful death lawyer, such as Chester Law Group, is strongly advised.
A quality lawyer will already know many of the factors leading up to your case, such as who can file, when you can file, and what will happen when you do file.
More Information on Wrongful Death Cases
Being the survivor of a wrongful death is hard enough.
There is a lot to consider, and your head may not be clear enough to even start the process. Hopefully, the information here gave you a step in the right direction.
If you have more questions or concerns about a wrongful death suit or want to know more legal advice and details, feel free to check out more on our blog.
The loss of any loved one is tragic. Whether it’s due to injury or sickness, death is often a catastrophe. Yet there’s a bitter irony when the cause of death comes from within the hospital, not from outside it.
We’d like to think that in the 21st century, medical error is disappearing. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. In fact, according to a recent analysis published in the BMJ, one of the world’s leading medical publications, medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. That’s why it’s important to understand just what medical error (also known as medical malpractice) is.
According to Martin A. Makary and Michael Daniel of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, medical malpractice is “an unintended act or one that does not achieve its intended outcome.” This can be an error of planning, of execution, or an outright deviation from the proper medical process. In other words, medical malpractice can take many forms, and its effects can be trivial as well as severe.
To illustrate their point, they cite a case history that showcases the role of malpractice in a patient’s death:
A young woman left the hospital after a successful transplant operation, but she suffered from pain and was readmitted to the hospital. Doctors decided to run a variety of tests, many of which were unnecessary, to identify the problem. One of the tests was a pericardiocentesis, which samples fluid from space that surrounds the heart.
She was then released from the hospital and told to wait for the test results. A few days later, the unfortunate young woman checked into the hospital with a hemorrhage and cardiac arrest, and she passed away.
The autopsy showed that the syringe had peirced the skin during the pericardiocentesis slightly hitting the liver, which caused her death. Yet instead of listing the cause of her death as a medical error, the certificate simply blamed it on her cardiovascular system.
We know that medical error happens – after all, mistakes are unavoidable. But just how widespread is it? It’s difficult to identify the exact numbers, partly because “medical error” is never included on a death certificate – this would be too risky for doctors to admit. However, studies from the Harvard Medical School, the US Inspector General, and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality calculate that anywhere from about 140,000 to 195,000 people die each year because of medical error. What’s more, these studies are likely understating the problem, because of the limited data available to researchers.
Yet even with those understatements, medical error ranks as one of the leading causes of death in this country. Until doctors start including information about medical error on death certificates, it’s up to ordinary patients, and ordinary citizens, to identify cases of malpractice. We need to understand that this problem affects all of us and that each patient must be aware of the possibility that medical malpractice is the true cause of death.
About attorney Scott Sandler:
Scott Sandler is an experienced trial lawyer representing personal injury victims for over 30 years. Founding attorney of The Law Office of Scott M. Sandler, Sandler’s dedicated and forceful approach has allowed him to obtain many multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements.
Visit http://www.scottsandlerlawoffice.com/firm-profile for more information