As per the CDC, unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of untimely death in the United States of America. In 2013, the number of emergency department visits for unintentional injuries was 28.1 million. Wrongful death lawsuits are on the rise with the increase of unintentional accidents and injuries and medical malpractice.
FAQs about Wrongful Death
Q: What do you mean wrongful death?
A: This is a civil case filed against a party that is allegedly responsible for the death of an individual. The underlying action that contributed to or caused the death includes:
- Careless or negligent conduct, such as an auto traffic crash, medical error, etc.
- The manufacture or design of a defective product
- An intentional act, e.g. an assault
- A grossly negligent or reckless act, such as an auto accident where the party at fault was driving under the influence
Q: Are wrongful death laws the same in all states?
A: No. Each state in the United States has a prescribed set of laws that permit filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These laws specify who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, the deadline for filing this type of lawsuit in civil court and the type of losses that can be compensated, among other procedural details.
Q: Can any family member file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: The details on who can legally bring a wrongful death lawsuit vary according to the laws in each state. In most cases, this type of lawsuit is filed on behalf of the estate of the deceased person, but a spouse, children, or any other individual who depended (financially or emotionally) on the deceased person can make a claim for losses that were caused by the wrongful death.
Q: If the deceased person never held a job, can I still bring a wrongful death action?
A: Yes. You can bring a wrongful death action, even if the decedent never held a job – they might have made other contributions to the family. An example is a wrongful death action for a stay-at-home mother or father who provided the family with guidance, nurturing and other services. Contributions such as these are quantifiable in a wrongful death action as “pecuniary losses.”
Q: What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?
A: Similar to other types of civil case, a wrongful death lawsuit is subject to a deadline that is set by a law called “statute of limitations.” Expressed in years, this deadline varies from one state to another, but a window of 1 to 3 years is quite common. You should keep in mind that across all states, if you wait too long to file a lawsuit for wrongful death – in other words, the deadline has passed and you are not exempted from the deadline – it is almost certain that the court will dismiss your case.
Get Legal Assistance for Wrongful Death
If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligent or reckless act, you must seek the counsel and legal guidance of a personal injury lawyer who has dealt with many cases like yours. It is prudent to have a reliable wrongful death attorney as this type of lawsuit can be complex.
With the help of a reliable and majestic legal pro at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law, you can make sure that you obtain the compensation you are entitled to. Call us on at 212 697 9280 for a free consultation.
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We are only paid if you are paid. RMFW Law wants to settle favorably or win as badly as you do. We will keep you informed every major step of the way. Call RMFW Law today!