The OJ Simpson case, also known as the trial of the century was one of the most controversial civil suit about wrongful death.
Interestingly the 4th major cause of death in the United States. According to data published by CDC, is from unintentional injury.
The highest number of unintentional injuries leading to death was from unintentional poisoning, motor vehicle accidents, and unintentional falls.
Before wrongful death was part of state law, English and early American courts did not recognize these claims. Under the common law, negligence claims didn’t make sense as the victims had already died. And survivors didn’t have the right to recover losses they went through as a due to the death of their loved one.
All states currently have wrongful death statutes. There’s a common thread between them, though they aren’t identical. Nowadays, people who injure others cannot escape liability just because of the fact that the injury was severe enough and the victim succumbed to it.
In order to file a wrongful death claim, the following must be true:
- The person(s) being sued was the reason behind the death of the deceased.
- The person/persons being who is/are being sued were negligent when they caused the death.
- The victim’s spouse, dependents and/or beneficiaries are alive.
- The victim’s death has caused losses (monetary and otherwise), and compensation is being sought for the losses.
A representative of the deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim, on behalf of survivors who were related to the victim.
A survivor could be a spouse on behalf of a deceased spouse, parents of minors in case the deceased is a minor, and minors in case their parents have deceased. Usually, the more distant the familial relationship is, the more difficult it becomes to prove yourself as a survivor.
What Are The Damages That Can Be Claimed For Wrongful Death?
- A survival claim: If the deceased person went through pre-death pain and suffering can be claimed.
- Medical costs that were used to treat the deceased victim for an injury prior to death. Funeral and burial costs can also be claimed.
- Loss of expected income from the deceased person.
- If there was an inheritance, loss as a result of death.
- Loss of love, guidance and care the victim would have provided.
- Punitive damages to the surviving family members. Punitive damages are punishments aimed to deter reckless behavior of the defendant that resulted in the death of the victim.
Choosing a Wrongful Death Lawyer:
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always difficult. And sometimes it’s difficult to focus on a lawsuit when you’re in mourning.
You should look for a lawyer who is able to take that burden off your shoulder. They should also be competent enough to know where to look and find witnesses and records. Also, knowing the statute of limitations should be a given, or you could lose the right to file your claim.
If you’re looking for an expert lawyer who handles wrongful death cases, in Scranton, Pennsylvania area, you should give Dr. Gleeson a call at 855.346.0747 for a free consultation.