(Jul. 4, 2021) — So you have probably lost a loved one due to someone’s mistake and are trying to deal with your grief. Losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence may be very stressful and frustratingly painful. Many people may even find the feelings of vengeance to be justifiable.
Whether you are a firm believer of forgiveness or may want to seek justice for your loved one’s death, the law allows you to file a wrongful death claim against the guilty party. This claim will enable you to seek payment for all the grief and suffering that you may have endured as a result of your loved one’s death. It also covers several other financial losses you may have incurred due to the wrongful death. However, like most lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits may be very complicated.
Here are five things you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits before filing a case.
Things You Need to Know About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
1. It Is a Civil Charge
You are probably wondering what next after losing your criminal case against the at-fault party. It may be devastating to see the person who murdered your loved one walk free and be pronounced not guilty of murder. However, you should know that civil cases are exclusive to criminal cases. This means that you can sue the responsible party for wrongful death despite their acquittal of murder charges.
2. There Are Restrictions on Who Can Sue
One thing is sure across all states; you can file a wrongful death claim if your immediate family member dies due to someone’s mistake. However, some states differ on who else can file a claim. In some states, siblings and stepparents of the deceased get to file a claim, while in others, adult parents can file the suit if they lose their adult children. In such states, adult children can also file a claim if they lost their parents due to negligence. However, a few states are much more strict and only limit this to minors who lost their parents or parents whose deceased children are minors.
3. It Is Not Always About Crime
Although most wrongful death claims are linked to criminal activities, not all of them are crimes. You could file a wrongful death claim even if the at-fault party did not commit any crime that led to the death of your loved one. For instance, if your loved one perished because of a poorly designed car or even poorly fitted brakes, you can sue the car manufacturer or the mechanic for the part they played in this wrongful death. These people will, however, not be charged with criminal offenses.
4. It Is Not Only About Money
Although you can receive compensation for the financial losses you incur from your loved one’s death, that is not all you can be compensated for. You may file for other compensations, such as the emotional pain and suffering you have had to undergo during your grieving period.
5. Statute of Limitations
Depending on the state laws, the statute of limitations varies greatly. The period may range anywhere between months and years. You cannot file a lawsuit after the set time has elapsed. Therefore, you want to find out the statute of limitations in your state and ensure you have filed your suit in good time not to be locked out.
Do Not Do This Alone
The grieving process is challenging as it is. You do not want to burden yourself further with stressful lawsuits. Fortunately, there are several seasoned wrongful death lawyers who can help you win your case and take care of all the legal processes.