Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits: A Guide For Families

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The passing of a loved one is often one of the most difficult life experiences a person can go through. It is especially challenging when the death of someone you love results from negligence or someone else's wrongdoing. Fortunately, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit, which could grant you compensation.

A wrongful death lawsuit is considered a civil action that must be filed by the survivors of a person who died due to the negligence or the unlawful act of another. The lawsuit aims to compensate the survivors for their losses, including funeral expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and lost income.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In most jurisdictions, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit belongs to the personal representative of the deceased person's estate. This means that the case must be filed by the person appointed by the court to oversee the deceased person's affairs.

How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit varies from state to state. However, some general steps must be taken to file a lawsuit.

  1. You must first hire an attorney. A professional lawyer has the experience needed to help you understand your options, explain your rights, and represent you in court, which will improve your chances of receiving compensation.
  2. Once you retain the services of a lawyer, they will file a case for you with the court.
  3. The defendant will then be served with the lawsuit. The defendant will only have a specified amount of time to respond to the case.
  4. If the defendant does not respond, the court may provide a default judgment in your favor. This means that you will be awarded the damages you seek without going to trial.
  5. If the defendant does respond to the lawsuit, the case will go to trial. At trial, you will have the opportunity to present evidence to support your claim. The defendant will also have the opportunity to present evidence.
  6. After the trial, the jury will deliberate and render a verdict. The verdict will determine whether you are entitled to damages and, if so, how much.

Although the death of someone you love and care about is tough, especially when caused by someone else, you do not have to experience it alone. A qualified lawyer will help ease some of the burdens by handling the legal side of your difficulties. Consult with a wrongful death lawyer today to learn more.