There is nothing worse than losing a loved one, especially when you lose this person due to negligence or fault on the part of someone else. In this situation, it is normal to be angry and to want some kind of justice or restitution from the person at fault. Fortunately, it is often possible to hold the responsible person accountable, but doing so does typically require you to file what is known as a wrongful death law suit.
Know the Law
First things first, before you file a wrongful death suit, it is important to educate yourself on the laws pertaining to wrongful death in your state. These laws do vary somewhat from one area to the next. In general, though, a wrongful death claim can be filed if your loved one died because of negligent, reckless, criminal, or intentional actions on the part of another.
Of course, it is up to you to prove that the person who caused the death acted irresponsibly and is at fault for the death that occurred. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to prove this on your own, nor should you attempt to. With the help of a qualified lawyer familiar with wrongful death cases, you can leave the burden of proof and all the “hard stuff” up to your attorney.
Bear in mind that only certain people are permitted by law to file wrongful death suits. Again, these laws vary by state. In the state of Arizona, for example, only the following people can file a wrongful death suit:
- A surviving spouse
- The representative of the deceased person’s estate or the representative of the deceased person’s spouse, parent, guardian, or child
- A surviving child
- A surviving parent
- A surviving guardian
If you are unsure about whether or not you are eligible to file a wrongful death suit, you will want to discuss this concern with your attorney.
Your attorney can also help you to understand what kind of damages you can collect, such as damages related to the value of the person’s life, financial losses related to the death, medical bills, and more possibilities.