Wrongful Death Lawsuits: What to Know and Why You Should File One
Losing a loved one is an incredibly painful and traumatic experience. The emotional toll of a loved one’s death can be overwhelming on its own, but if your loved one dies as a result of someone else’s negligence, the heartbreak can be even more painful.
If your loved one has died due to the negligence or intentional actions of someone else, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. While the thought of pursuing legal action during this difficult time might seem daunting, there are several reasons why it is important to consider doing so.
At Lee Cossell & Feagley, LLP, we understand the emotional, financial, and psychological toll a loved one’s death at the hand of a negligent individual or business can be. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys will work to lift some of this burden by helping you seek out the justice and compensation you and your family deserve.
Read on to learn more about why filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your loved one may be an avenue worth considering.
Holding the Responsible Party Accountable
It’s important to hold parties including individuals and businesses responsible for their negligence that has caused your loved one’s death. This not only ensures you get justice for your loved one’s death, but it also ensures that their reckless behavior won’t lead to another death in the future.
In addition to holding the responsible party accountable, when you pursue legal action via a wrongful death claim, you can recover damages for your loss. These damages may include medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. While no amount of money can bring your loved one back, financial compensation can help alleviate some of the financial burdens you and your family may be facing as a result of your loved one’s death.
Filing a wrongful death claim can also provide a sense of closure for the surviving family members. Losing a loved one is never easy, but knowing that you have taken steps to seek justice and recover damages can help provide a sense of closure. This sense of closure is often an imperative element to beginning the healing process.
Send a Message to Others
When a wrongful death claim is filed, it sends a message that negligent or intentional actions will not be tolerated. This can help raise awareness about the importance of safety and accountability, and may even help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. In some cases, a claim may pursue punitive damages against a defendant. Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for their reckless or negligent behavior.
What Damages Can You Seek in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Claimants can seek compensatory damages for their loved ones’ death. Compensatory damages are designed to compensate surviving family members for calculable and non-calculable losses.
Though not common, in some cases, you may also be able to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are levied to both punish a defendant and send a message to other similarly situated individuals or companies that such behavior will not be tolerated. For example, if a plaintiff seeks and is awarded punitive damages after their loved one died due to faulty electrical equipment at a construction site, not only will that company improve its safety practices, but other construction companies will be motivated to ensure their electrical equipment is safely monitored and secured away from individuals who may be harmed.
Economic damages are designed to compensate plaintiffs for any financial losses that were incurred because of the wrongful death. These types of damages include but are not limited to the following:
● Loss of income, loss of earned wages, loss of earning capacity
● Loss of support
● Medical expenses, hospital bills, and other treatment bills
● Funeral and burial expenses
● Loss of inheritance
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are designed to award a plaintiff for any pain and suffering that they have had to endure following their loved one’s death. These types of damages are not always easy to calculate; they are often intangible and are related to losses that impact the lives of surviving family members both in the short term and long term. Examples of non-economic damages include but are not limited to the following:
● Pain and suffering
● Loss of companionship
● Loss of consortium
● Emotional distress
● Loss of guidance and nurturing
● Mental anguish or trauma
Should I file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can also help you gather evidence to support your claim.
It is important to note that wrongful death claims must be filed within a certain timeframe, known as the statute of limitations. In Indiana, this statute of limitations is two years. If you fail to file a wrongful death lawsuit before this time frame, you might miss out on the opportunity to hold the negligent party accountable and seek the compensation you and your family deserve.
Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that not all deaths are eligible for a wrongful death claim. In order to file a claim, you must be able to prove that the death was caused by the negligence or intentional actions of another person or entity. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a viable case.
Speak With a Wrongful Death Lawyer at Lee Cossell & Feagley
While the decision to file a wrongful death claim is a personal one, there are several reasons why it may be beneficial to do so, all of which will only help in your journey to healing.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or intentional actions of another, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine whether or not you have a viable case. The wrongful death lawyers at Lee Cossell & Feagley are committed to serving you during your greatest time of need. Contact our offices today to schedule a free case consultation on your case.