Surviving the death of a family member or significant other is stressful, emotionally and financially. For those whose loved one died through the fault of another, it can be particularly painful. In addition to the grieving process and unexpected or sudden financial hardships, survivors must now consider filing a lawsuit to recover damages.
Some of the financial burdens left for survivors include funeral costs, medical bills, loss of earnings, loss of financial support, and loss of expected inheritance. If another person or entity is responsible for the death of a family member or significant other, beneficiaries can sue for these damages as well as less tangible losses, such as protection, comfort, and companionship. In some circumstances, punitive damages are also recoverable in a wrongful death suit.
In order to provide a claim, it must be established that the person or entity being sued had a duty to the deceased (whether it be to drive safely, provide health care, or provide a safe product or environment) and failed in that duty. The death must have been caused by this breach of duty and resulted in monetary damage.
If you believe that a loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is best to seek legal counsel immediately.