LEGAL HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST
While taking legal action may not be a priority for those who have lost a loved one, it is important for survivors of the victim to retain a wrongful death litigator as soon as possible. In addition to the significant emotional trauma of having a loved one pass away, families may also face substantial financial difficulties without the support of the deceased. Our goal is to ease the financial burden caused by the death of a loved one by holding the at fault parties responsible.
The wrongful death attorneys at Yelverton Litigators have a long history of recovering compensation that recognizes the value of the victim and helps the surviving family recover from their loss.
If you have lost a loved one unexpectedly, contact us today to find out how we can help.
WRONGFUL DEATH DEFINITION
Wrongful death claims are civil actions made by the survivors of an individual who has passed away due to the negligence or bad acts of another. In these cases, the law allows the family members of the victim to file a wrongful death suit seeking monetary damages. The wrongful death action is designed to provide compensation for relatives who depended upon the deceased for financial and emotional support.
ELEMENTS OF A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
Wrongful death occurs when negligence, recklessness, or deliberate behavior results in the death of a victim. Negligence refers to the failure of an individual to act in a way that a reasonable person would act in a similar situation. For example, a reasonable person knows not to drive under the influence. If one does drive under the influence and causes the death of another, the drunk driver was negligent.
To establish that a wrongful death occurred, an attorney must prove that the negligent act of the wrongdoer caused the death of the victim. This can be done by conducting a thorough investigation, hiring expert witnesses and properly building a case against the perpetrator.
WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES
The court will consider a number of factors when determining the amount of damages to be awarded to the survivors of the deceased. These factors include the relationship between the survivors and the victim, the amount of the victim’s income available to the survivor, and services that the victim provided for the survivors. As described below, an individual’s relationship to the victim may entitle them to certain benefits.
Spouse: A surviving spouse may recover compensation for the loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
Children: Minor children may seek compensation for lost parental companionship, instruction, guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
Parent: Each parent of a deceased minor child may recover compensation for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover compensation for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
All: Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death, reduced to present value. In addition, medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by the survivor who has paid them.
At Yelverton Litigators, our attorneys understand the hardships a family faces after a wrongful death and we are committed to seeking fair compensation for the survivors.