Wrongful Death Lawsuit by a Decedent’s Beneficiaries
Thousands of tragic events have left millions of individuals dead and a lot more severely injured. These have also changed the lives of victims and of victims’ families. Tragic events can happen anytime and anywhere, wreaking huge amounts in property damages, besides claiming many lives.
Most often than not, these tragic events are consequences of human error or man’s negligent and careless behavior. The sinking of the Titanic, for example, wherein more than 1,500 passengers died; the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989, which resulted to 10.8 million gallons of oil spilled into the waters of Prince William Sound; the Piper Alpha Oil Rig fire in 1988 that claimed the lives of 167 workers and caused property damage that amounted to $3.4 billion. There are many more less huge accidents, like fires, methane hydrate eruptions, tsunamis, and scaffoldings, tower crane, roofs, stadiums or houses suddenly collapsing, but which, just the same, took lives or caused individuals to suffer an injury. The worst effect of these events is more than the value of all damaged properties combined, for these are lives lost through wrongful death.
Wrongful death is a legal claim that can be filed by the beneficiaries or survivors of a person who is said to have met an untimely and unjust death. In this legal claim, the defendant is the liable party. This claim for damages includes loss of earnings that the deceased could have still been able to earn, medical expenses prior to the victim’s death, and loss of consortium (removal of the benefits of a relationship, including sexual, because of the injuries or death caused by a negligent party).
Only a surviving dependents’ personal representative (can be a lawyer or any of the family members) can file a wrongful death lawsuit (in behalf of the surviving dependents/family). The damages may differ from one state to another, besides the time limit, or statute of limitation, set by states within which this lawsuit may be filed (statute of limitation also differs among states; some have set only a year, while others give dependents two or more years).
Preparing all the documents necessary in filing a lawsuit may already cause stress to the surviving family, more so will the actual court proceedings, which can turn very emotional and painful for all those grieving the sudden loss of their loved one. This is the time, as pointed out by Failure to Supervise Lawyer, when legal assistance can really be beneficial. A seasoned wrongful death attorney may be able to help the surviving dependents receive compensation (from the liable party) for all end-of-life expenses as well as financial losses.