Legal Options for Families of Fatal Accident Victims

It is always difficult for a family when a loved one dies, but when that death was caused by the negligence or recklessness of someone else, that loss and subsequent grief can be even more devastating. There is not only the emotional loss, but many families who suffer the sudden loss of a loved one often face overwhelming financial stress, as well.

In these tragic situations, families may be able to file legal action against the party or parties who caused the accident or situation that resulted in the victim’s death. Although every wrongful death lawyer understands that no amount of money will ever make up for your loved one’s death, they also understand that this litigation is often the only type of justice a family may obtain in the name of their loved one.

What Type of Incidents Fall Under a Wrongful Death Action?

There are a number of causes of death that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Worker accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Criminal act

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Every state has its own law in place that addresses any type of legal action by survivors of a wrongful death victim. In the majority  of states, these parties include:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Aunts and uncles
  • Representative of the victim’s estate

Proving a Wrongful Death Case

There are certain elements that a wrongful death lawyer needs to prove in order to be successful in a claim. These are:

  • Negligence – The lawyer must show that the alleged at-fault party acted or behaved in a negligent or reckless manner.
  • Breach of duty – The lawyer must show that the alleged at-fault party had a duty of care to the victim but failed to uphold that duty. For example, every driver has a duty of care to other motorists not to drive drunk. When a driver gets behind the wheel after drinking, they are breaching that duty of care.
  • Cause of death – The lawyer must show that the alleged at-fault party’s negligence caused the victim’s death. Extending the above example, a drunk driver slamming into a pedestrian they did not see because they were drunk.
  • Damages – The lawyer must show that the family has suffered losses because of the victim’s death. Those losses can be both financial, such as funeral expenses and loss of future income, and emotional, such as loss of guidance and companionship.

Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm for Help

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of another party or parties, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the losses you have suffered. Do not delay in contacting an attorney, like a Morgantown, WV wrongful death lawyer from Hayhurst Law PLLC, to find out what legal options you may have to obtain financial justice for your loved one’s death.