When a loved one dies suddenly and unexpectedly, you may find yourself not only grieving but also facing financial strain due to the sudden loss of income, as well as medical and funeral expenses. When the death was the legal fault of another person or a business, your family may want to file a wrongful death claim. Claims can stem from issues such as accidents, medical malpractice and product liability. The liable party is considered at fault if they have acted intentionally or negligently, meaning he or she failed to act as a reasonable person would.
Who Can Sue?
Wrongful death suits may be filed on behalf of the survivors, usually immediate family members such as spouses and children. Some states do not require the person to be a blood relative, but he or she must still prove direct financial harm as a result of the death.
Types of Damages
Calculating damages can be a complex process. There are three forms of damages survivors may claim: punitive, economic and non-economic.
• Punitive are awarded to punish the defendant
• Economic covers financial loss, such as the victim’s anticipated earnings, medical benefits and pension plans
• Non-economic damages are for less tangible issues, such as mental anguish and loss of companionship
Most states impose a time limit, or statute of limitations, for which a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. Usually, a claim must be made within two years of the event that caused the death. To learn more about filing a claim, please visit this website of a wrongful death lawyer in Jacksonville.