Wrongful Death – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a wrongful death?
A. When a death is caused by the unintentional misconduct of another person or company it is called a wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is one in which surviving beneficiaries seek to claim compensation for the wrongful death of the family member.
Q. Who can file a wrongful death claim?
A. Wrongful death claims are generally filed by the immediate family: surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased. The estate of the deceased may also file what is called a survival claim.
Q. What kinds of damages are recoverable?
A. The damages that may be recovered vary from state to state. They also depend upon the relationship of the survivor to the deceased. Here is a list of damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim. We will tell you which ones you are eligible for, and we will guide you through these difficult considerations:
- Immediate expenses surrounding the death, such as medical and funeral
- Loss of victim’s expected future earnings until retirement or natural death would have occurred
- Pecuniary damages
- Loss of benefits such as pension, medical coverage, etc…
- Loss of inheritance
- Pain and suffering or mental anguish to survivors
- Loss of care, protection, guidance and companionship to survivors Loss of companionship and society
- Loss of household services
- General damages
- Punitive damages
Q. I believe I have a wrongful death claim. What should I do first?
A. The first step is to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. There are statutes of limitations in each state that define the time frame during which a wrongful death claim may be filed. If you believe you have a valid wrongful death claim, you may still have time. The damages you may be entitled to vary from state to state and case to case. You need experienced professionals to guide you through this complex undertaking.
Q. How much will your firm charge to pursue my wrongful death claim?
A. You pay nothing until you receive a monetary recovery. Our fee is a percentage of that recovery. Please see our contingency fee policy for more information.
Q. How long will it take to settle my wrongful death claim?
A. A majority of wrongful death claims are satisfied with pre-trial settlements. Wrongful death claims are a very complicated area of law and may take more than a year to resolve. We work hard to move your case through the legal system as quickly as possible.