When an unbearable tragedy occurs that a person you care about dies or somebody kills them due to negligence or misconduct, it is devastating. It is a hardship both to you and your surviving family members. Nothing can replace the deceased person, but you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Although a successful wrongful death suit can’t bring your loved one back, it can allow you to receive financial compensation for your loss and receive some justice.
How Does A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Begin?
You can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the individual, business, or other entity that is liable for the individual’s passing away. However, there are specific criteria that you must meet to file a case.
In general, authorized surviving family members that can file a wrongful death injury lawsuit include spouses, children of the deceased, father or mother of the person who died, and siblings of the deceased. States like Alabama have certain exceptions where only the personal representative or executor can file for wrongful death.
Finally, the court can appoint a plaintiff to petition the legal system for financial compensation if none of these family members pursues a lawsuit.
Causes of a Wrongful Death
Several circumstances may lead you to take legal action in a wrongful death lawsuit, such as medical malpractice, airplane accidents, and defective products. You may already be familiar with car accidents as one of the United States’ leading causes of wrongful death. A negligent or reckless driver could slam into your loved one’s vehicle with an 18-wheeler, semi-trailer, or car.
State and county courts also see wrongful death cases for workplace accidents, where the environment poses physical risks that endanger employees to injury or death. Also, they have the potential to be exposed to hazardous chemicals that are toxic by touching or breathing them in.
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death cases can obtain compensation for various types of losses that you incur. These include your medical bills, funeral costs, loss of income and retirement benefits, punitive damages, and pain and suffering of you and the other survivors. That way, those who depended on your loved one for income can receive ample financial support to get back on their feet again.
What Impacts the Timeline of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Unfortunately, it may take a few months to several years to settle your wrongful death claims, depending on the specific circumstances. No two wrongful death claims are exactly alike.
The main factor that determines how long it takes to resolve your wrongful death claim is whether it settles out of court or if it goes to trial. An insurance wrongful death settlement may take a few months, but a trial can take a year or longer.
For example, your wrongful death case may take years to resolve because determining fault can be complicated. This may occur in a situation such as in a hit-and-run auto accident where the other insurance company questions the facts, or the defendant is simultaneously facing criminal charges, such as manslaughter.
Although it may be difficult, patience will be needed during the legal process after the wrongful death of your loved one to get the compensation you deserve.
Experience Counts in Wrongful Death Legal Issues
Dealing with the legal issues after a tragic loss can be confusing and made more stressful by the grief you are experiencing. Plus, wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations which means they should be filed as soon as possible. But even if the incident occurred in the recent past, our experienced attorneys at Strickland and Kendall can evaluate and assist you with expert legal advice.
Insurance companies may try to take advantage of your vulnerable state to get you to settle for a reduced amount. Our skilled wrongful death lawyers will help you navigate this difficult time and help you find justice for your lost loved one. With over 25 years in practice, our knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys are ready to advise and assist you during this challenging time.
We Provide Free Consultations for Wrongful Death
If your family has lost a relative due to another’s negligence, you need a strong advocate who understands what you are going through and can provide trusted guidance. Even if your wrongful deal lawsuit takes months or even years to resolve, you can feel comfortable knowing that our team at Strickland and Kendall will be by your side every step of the way.
Our law firm is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in all 50 states, with regional offices located in Alabama, Georgia, Vermont, and Washington DC. You can easily schedule a free consultation by calling our law offices at (800) 874-3528. We would welcome you to meet in one of our offices. You are not alone.