The National Mental Health Association acknowledges that “losing a loved one is life’s most stressful event.”
Of course, this is true no matter the cause of death. But death is especially painful when your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence.
No amount of money can bring your loved one back, but recovering compensation can help to ease the financial burden of their passing. Keep reading to learn how to increase your chances of winning a wrongful death suit.
How Is Wrongful Death Determined?
The first thing you need to know is what qualifies as “wrongful death.”
It involves much more than just an unfavorable outcome for the deceased. To win a wrongful death lawsuit, you’ll need to establish these four elements:
- Duty (proof that there was a duty of care between the defendant and the deceased)
- Breach (proof that the defendant failed to perform their duty in a substantial way)
- Causation (proof that the defendant’s breach of duty contributed to the victim’s death)
- Damages (proof that the surviving family members suffered financial loss as a result of the death)
In most cases, it’s the children, parents, or spouse who can file the lawsuit. Some states may allow siblings, grandparents, or other close relatives to begin the wrongful death lawsuit process.
However you’re related to the deceased, one thing is for certain — you can’t face the legal process alone. To increase your chances of winning a wrongful death suit, you’ll need a qualified wrongful death attorney on your side.
What’s the Average Wrongful Death Settlement?
No one can ever guarantee you’ll win your wrongful death lawsuit (or any lawsuit, for that matter). No two cases or sets of circumstances are exactly alike, so your best bet is to build as strong a case as possible.
A lawyer can examine the evidence, determine whether you have a solid case, and then help to present a compelling claim to the court.
What should you include as you calculate the claim amount? Here are some viable factors to consider:
- Medical expenses incurred before their death
- Future financial support (i.e., lost income from your loved one’s job or monetary support)
- Value of household services if the deceased worked at home or cared for children
- Funeral, cremation, or burial expenses
- Loss of benefits you would have received if your loved one was alive
- Emotional pain, suffering, and loss (known as “intangible” losses)
It’s painful and awkward to think about money when considering the loss of your loved one. However, the law allows you to file a claim for financial losses and emotional losses, which lie at the heart of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Increase Your Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Suit
Winning a wrongful death lawsuit involves a strong case, a lot of research, and the skills of a legal expert. If you decide to pursue your case, make sure you hire an experienced attorney to increase your chances of winning a wrongful death suit.
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