What is a Wrongful Death Claim?


     By Weinstein & Scharf, PA

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A wrongful death claim may be filed by the survivors of a victim who was killed by the negligence of another person or entity. Every state has different legislation regarding wrongful death claims and the amount of compensation that can be granted. In order to be successful in recovering compensation, those filing for a wrongful death claim must be able to prove that the actual cause of the fatality.

A wrongful death claim is different from a normal negligence lawsuit because it is not filed for injuries by the person who is injured. A wrongful death lawsuit claims that a victim was killed by the negligence or recklessness of another person or entity, and is filed by the victim’s survivors. It is interesting to note that a wrongful death claim did not exist under the “common law” principles that were passed from England to the United States hundreds of years ago because people believed that the claim to compensation died with the victim.

Throughout the years, more and more states have passed wrongful death laws to provide compensation for persons who may have been damaged from the death of the victim. All states currently have a form of a wrongful death claim that generally follows the same principles. However, because each state drafted their statutes independently of each other, a wrongful death claim will have distinctions from state to state.

There are some principles that apply for all wrongful death cases and play a role in determining the amount of compensation granted. Most states provide a surviving spouse, next of kin or children to file for recovery through a wrongful death claim. Sometimes a surviving spouse may even be able to bring a claim even after a separation. The surviving beneficiaries may sue any person who caused the injuries that precipitated the death as long as there is no legal exception. One of the most common legal exceptions is family immunity, which means that an individual is protected by law against a suit brought by any member of their family. This rule has recently been disregarded by a number of states, and a personal injury attorney can help you determine if your case applies for a claim. It is important to note that a wrongful death claim is separate and removed from criminal charges, and neither proceeding affects the other. Wrongful death statuses also do not apply to an unborn fetus, and the law states that an individual does not have a distinct legal status until they are born alive.

If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death, you may be contemplating if you should file a wrongful death claim. Regardless of whether the action that caused the death was willfully done or not, the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to help the survivors ease the financial burden brought about by the wrongful death.

In order to be successful in your wrongful death claim, you need to prove the actual cause of the fatality. Some states also limit the amount of money that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim, and you may have a tough time recovering the amount of compensation you need without the help of a legal expert. In order to guarantee that your claim will stand in court, it is necessary to enlist the help of an experienced attorney. A Palm Beach personal injury lawyer can help you gather the legal evidence needed to prove your story and to fight for justice on the behalf of your loved one.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weinstein, Scharf & Dubinsky, P.A.
At Weinstein, Scharf & Dubinsky, P.A., our team is highly experienced in handling all types of wrongful death claims. With over 86 years of combined experience, you can trust our legal experts to do what is necessary to win your case. We work tirelessly on your behalf to alleviate your grieving and pain with caring legal counsel and representation. When you contact a Palm Beach personal injury attorney at our firm, you will immediately begin to receive answers to your tough questions.

An experienced Palm Beach personal injury attorney from our firm will carry your burdens and relieve you of the stress and uncertainty that you may feel. We understand what you and your family are going through, and we will be by your side during every step of the legal process.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.



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