Wrongful death cases can be emotional and overwhelming to navigate for the individuals involved. At Bachus & Schanker, we can help lessen the burden. Our team will demonstrate compassion and understanding every step of the way. Our personal injury lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced with all manner of wrongful death cases. We understand that this is an emotional and grievous process, and we strive to support and advocate for our client’s individual needs.
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What constitutes a wrongful death case?
Wrongful death is a civil claim brought against an individual who caused the death of another, due to some form of negligence or as the result of some intentional action. Statutes in wrongful death cases allow for children and spouses to receive damages. In some states, these statutes also grant damages to parents, siblings, and other dependents.
Personal injury lawyers seek to ensure that the damages awarded are fair and just compensation based on the evidence of the case. These damages can include compensation for the lost financial support and suffering caused by the death. Some states also allow for punitive damages. These types of additional damages are punishment and are generally awarded at the discretion of the court in the event that the defendant’s conduct is found to be especially harmful.
Bachus & Schanker always puts the client first and works diligently to ensure all deserved compensation is granted. Wrongful death claims can occur in a number of situations that can include but are not limited to:
- When an individual is intentionally killed or other criminal acts
- Cases involving medical malpractice
- Car accidents resulting in fatalities as a result of negligence
- Defective products which can include medications and medical devices
- Work-related and construction accidents
- Watercraft accidents
- Premises liability cases such as slip and fall and aircraft accidents
How does a wrongful death case work and what is the process?
Wrongful death law requires that there be a direct series of events that lead to the fatality at hand. Families and/or dependants must prove that the defendant was the direct cause of the deceased’s fatality. There are four major elements to note in a wrongful death claim:
- Negligence: There must be proof that death of the family member was a result of the defendant’s reckless or careless actions.
- Breach of Duty: In certain circumstances, we all have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a specific manner. A breach of duty occurs when an individual violates their responsibility to act accordingly. For example, when driving, we have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and operate a vehicle in an appropriate and safe manner. If an individual walking along a sidewalk is killed because a driver was texting while driving, this would be considered a breach of duty. The driver violated their responsibility to obey traffic laws and drive safely.
- Causation: The family member filing the claim (plaintiff) must be able to prove that the defendant’s conduct was the cause, either partially or entirely, of the family member’s death.
- Damages: The plaintiff must show measurable damages as a result of their family member’s death.
Claims are almost always filed by a representative on behalf of the family. At Bachus & Schanker, we are well-equipped to navigate complex issues and file on your behalf. Our specialty group will help you carry the heavy load left behind due to a loved one’s death.
How is the value of a wrongful death case determined?
The value of a wrongful death case varies from case to case. There is a wide range of damages, and they come in two forms: tangible damages and intangible damages.
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Property loss
- Lost wages
- Loss of support, love, and guidance
- Loss of anticipated future earning potential
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased as a result of the defendant’s actions
- Pain and suffering of the family
Punitive damages can be awarded based upon the actions of the defendant such as:
- Criminal acts leading to the death
- Morally reprehensible behavior
- History of abuse or neglect that resulted in fatality
How can one file a wrongful death claim?
When filing a wrongful death claim, it is essential that the event falls within the statute of limitations of the state where the claim will be filed.
- The first step typically involves filing the proper documents to commence the civil lawsuit. This usually involves a complaint or petition. This document must notify the accused of the grounds for the case.
- Along with a petition, a summons or document that notifies the accused that they are being sued and expresses where the lawsuit will be held is required.
The above-stated steps are just the beginning of a lengthy process that could span multiple years. The steps required can be difficult to understand for someone unfamiliar with the ins and outs of wrongful death cases. Bachus & Schanker can help ease this burden by navigating, advocating, and fighting for the restitution you are owed because of the acts of another.
Who pays for a wrongful death attorney?
In most cases, a wrongful death lawyer is paid on a contingency basis. You do not pay anything to the attorney while they work on your behalf. The attorney is paid from the compensation received if they win the case. Generally, there are no average attorney fees for wrongful death cases. Attorney compensation varies on a case-by-case basis.
Why hire a wrongful death attorney?
Hiring a wrongful death attorney is the best option for maximum damage compensation. At Bachus & Schanker, we have extensive experience handling wrongful death cases and will be with you every step of the way. We can help establish damages that can be recovered as well as navigate any challenges and potential outcomes we may encounter. Court filings and proceedings can be complicated and overwhelming. There are several factors to consider and sub-tasks that can be overlooked if you are not familiar with these proceedings. Bachus and Schanker can take on the necessary tasks so you can focus on emotional recovery and family support.
Bachus & Schanker can explain your legal rights pertaining to wrongful death. We look at the relevant facts, determine fair compensation for your individual case, and attempt to negotiate with the opposing side for an out-of-court settlement. We are equipped to handle a thorough investigation into the details of the fatality at hand and proceed accordingly. If a settlement cannot be negotiated, Bachus & Schanker will present all the evidence and a compelling argument at trial to get you the compensation that is rightfully yours.
It is important to take the necessary steps involved in a wrongful death claim in a timely manner. Let Bachus & Schanker handle the technical aspects pursuant to a wrongful death claim. The death of a loved one is difficult enough. Let Bachus & Schanker handle the stress and technicalities of a wrongful death case on your behalf so you can focus on grieving and coming to terms with the unfortunate and unjust circumstances in which you now find yourself.
Our dedicated team of legal experts in wrongful death cases is here to help you.
Goguen, D. (2022). Damages in Your Personal Injury Case.
Goguen, D. (2022). How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works | AllLaw.
Goguen, D. (2022). Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? | AllLaw.
Wrongful death | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute. (2022).
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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus
4.6 ★★★★★ 1,461 Google Reviews
Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.