A family member’s death can have far-flung effects on you and the rest of your family. If you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit. In this scenario, you can seek compensation as part of a wrongful death claim.
Rand Spear and the personal injury lawyers at Spear Greenfield can help you move through the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. To get started, please reach out to us. We can connect you with an experienced wrongful death lawyer right away.
Definition of a Wrongful Death
A wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to another person’s negligence. It can happen for many reasons, such as:
A negligent motorist can drive while intoxicated, ignore the rules of the road, or get distracted behind the wheel. In any of these instances, the driver can cause an accident that kills other motorists or pedestrians. After a fatal car accident, family members of anyone killed during the incident can pursue damages by filing a wrongful death claim.
Slip and Fall Accident
There can be times when a property owner does not take proper care of their space. This can create property hazards that increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls, which prove to be fatal. If a family member dies due to a negligent property owner, a slip-and-fall accident lawyer can help you request damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
It is mandatory for an employer to maintain a safe, productive work environment. Failure to do so increases the risk of fatal workplace accidents. If a worker dies due to an on-the-job incident, their surviving family members can seek damages in a wrongful death case.
Rand Spear and the personal injury attorneys at Spear Greenfield can review your wrongful death case. To learn more, please get in touch with us. Our wrongful death attorney can answer any questions you have about this type of case and help you decide if now is the right time to request damages.
How Much You Can Request in Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
You can request compensatory damages totaling tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit. Your lawyer will examine your case and help you decide on an appropriate amount. They will account for the short- and long-term impact of your family member’s death when calculating your damages.
In a wrongful death case, you can ask for economic and non-economic damages. You can seek economic damages for quantifiable losses such as lost wages, funeral and burial expenses, and other costs. Comparatively, you can ask for non-economic damages for subjective losses such as your pain and suffering.
It is in your best interests to pursue as much compensation as you can. Your wrongful death attorney will make sure you do just that by building a strong case on your behalf and presenting a compelling argument. With help from your lawyer, you are in a great position to secure adequate compensation from anyone responsible for your family member’s death.
When You Should File a Wrongful Death Claim
You must file a wrongful death lawsuit in accordance with the statute of limitations, which defines how long you have from the date of your family member’s death to request compensation. For example, Pennsylvania has a wrongful death statute of limitations of two years. This gives Pennsylvania residents up to two years from the death of a family member to submit a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim can be filed against any and all parties responsible for your family member’s death. These parties can include:
- Your late family member’s employer
- Your late family member’s healthcare provider
- The driver that caused the car accident responsible for your family member’s death
- The manufacturer of a defective product that caused your family member’s death
- A property owner responsible for maintaining the space where your family member died
Your wrongful death attorney can help you identify any at-fault parties and file your lawsuit in alignment with the statute of limitations where you live. Once our case begins, your attorney will work with you to strengthen your claim for damages. You and your lawyer may be required to present your argument during a trial or can settle your case outside of court.
How a Wrongful Death Case Gets Settled Before a Trial Date
After you file a wrongful death lawsuit, the defendant may worry that they will have to pay you a significant amount of money. This can lead the defendant to make an out-of-court offer to settle instead of going before a judge and jury. If you accept the settlement, you do not have to go to trial but may only receive a portion of the damages you initially requested.
When you receive a settlement offer in a wrongful death case, it is generally a good idea to discuss the proposal with your attorney. It may be tempting to instantly accept the settlement offer so you can resolve your case. However, doing so can force you to settle for less compensation than what you could receive if you go to trial.
Your wrongful death lawyer can walk you through the pros and cons of accepting, rejecting, or countering a settlement proposal. On top of that, your attorney will support you no matter what decision you make. If you ultimately decide to walk away from a settlement offer, you can do so, and you and your attorney can continue to build your case.
How to Select a Lawyer to Represent You in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When hiring a wrongful death lawyer, consider the attorney’s background. Choosing a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of wrongful death law is the wisest course of action. This attorney can help you navigate the legal system with precision and care.
Also, meet with a wrongful death lawyer before making a final decision. The best attorney will explain how they work and what they can offer. You can then decide if this lawyer is exactly who you want to represent you.
Rand Spear and the personal injury lawyers at Spear Greenfield take the guesswork out of wrongful death claims, and we are here to help you in any way we can. For more information or to request a free case evaluation, please contact us today.