Far too often, injuries are caused by the negligence of another party. Even more unfortunate is when these serious injuries are fatal, resulting in the death of the victim. These, by law, are referred to as wrongful death accidents.
For the families of those who have lost a loved one, there are plenty of things that they must go through, including the grieving process. However, it’s also important to recognize what the law entails regarding wrongful death situations in order to protect your family from the long-term impact.
Here are some of the things you should know about what wrongful death is, what rights individuals have moving forward, and why taking legal action is so important to help families in the future with regards to finances and justice.
WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH?
Wrongful death is technically referred to as an accident in which negligence results in fatal injuries to the victim. There are a number of different situations that a person may be involved in that can cause a wrongful death, including the following:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: In-car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and any other situations involving large vehicles, it can result in significant harm. Far too often, these may lead to fatal injuries.
- Birth Injuries: One of the common problems during birth injuries can be when the baby is without oxygen for a long period of time. For most situations, this can be caught quickly, but result in brain damage. If it remains for too long, the damages can be fatal.
- Nursing Home Abuse: We trust nursing homes to care for our elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and some nursing homes are negligent in their care. When negligence is involved, it can be devastating.
In wrongful death cases, there are some serious legal implications that may result in the party responsible for the fatal injuries being held liable for the damages associated with the situation and the family of the decedent may have certain rights.
WHAT LEGAL MATTERS ARE INVOLVED IN A WRONGFUL DEATH?
There are a number of situations to consider following a wrongful death because of statutes placed by the state. Certain states limit who can actually file a lawsuit against the negligent party, as well as what damages may be recovered.
For instance, in the state of Alabama, the only parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are the estate of the deceased individual and the damages are awarded to the estate rather than the family members themselves.
In some situations, it is the decedent’s immediate and dependent family members who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, including surviving spouses, surviving children, surviving parents, and other potential relatives who may have been dependent on the decedent.
Knowing what can be recovered is also important. Many wrongful death cases involve recovering compensation for the expenses associated with the injury, and with the death. This includes medical expenses from the time of the injury to the time of the death, funeral expenses, and potential lost future earnings.
This is especially important when the person who passed was a primary provider for the family.
THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF A WRONGFUL DEATH
Wrongful death matters can be very difficult for a family both emotionally and financially. They may experience hardships from which it may be difficult to recover, especially when you look at the potential lost income and the lost companionship.
Taking legal action is about justice as much as it is about compensation.
Financially, the family may be left with exorbitant bills to pay for the damages suffered during the accident, as well as from the normal expenses including rent or mortgage, utilities, and other necessities for which the decedent may have been responsible.
Emotionally, grieving is never easy. The loss of a loved one can be highly traumatic. Any time negligence is involved and the death was completely preventable, it may be even more difficult to cope with the impact of a death.
MOVING FORWARD AND TAKING ACTION
Moving forward can be a difficult process for any family following a wrongful death. However, taking legal action can help in a number of ways, especially when you want to hold the negligent party accountable for what they have done.
Taking legal action helps with compensation—but it also means closure for the family knowing that the party responsible will face civil justice for the damages they have caused. It’s extremely important to move forward and for the family to feel as though something has been done on their behalf.
At Hare Wynn, we have a firm understanding of how wrongful death matters work in both Alabama and Kentucky. We make it a point to protect the rights of families who have been impacted due to the loss of a loved one in a negligence-related matter.
Trust that our wrongful death lawyers work with you to build a strong case, seeking the maximum compensation to which you are entitled and guiding you through the process with confidence. You deserve strong advocacy, and that’s what we aim to deliver when your family relies on it the most.
Call us today at 800-568-5330 and speak with a lawyer about what rights you may have following a wrongful death. States have different statutes, so working with a legal professional is imperative to pursue the most positive outcome possible.
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