Wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of another’s neglect or inappropriate behavior, and thus the perpetrator is held liable. This may include wrong actions, like feeding a baby the wrong formula and refusing to recognize warning signs so that the child has an adverse reaction and dies. Wrongful death may also occur due to inaction, such as failing to feed an infant enough so that it becomes malnourished and dies. Although it often occurs in the medical field due to unintentional mistakes and errors, wrongful death may also be prosecuted in a civil court when a person causes another’s death. This is a general explanation, although states often interpret and try relevant cases in court very differently.
If you suspect a loved one’s death was causes intentionally or unintentionally by someone, you should consult wrongful death lawyers to learn more about the laws governing the area and the circumstances. A wrongful death attorney can discuss the matter in detail to see if the situation warrants filing a legal action. The lawyer can assist in several ways:
Where the event occurred may differ from the victim’s area of residence, which may raise questions as to where a potential suit should be filed. Sometimes several jurisdictions may be in question, which will have to be clarified legally.
A wrongful death attorney can clarify which, if any, laws have been broken in causing the person’s death. This determination can be made based on various factors, such as preponderance of evidence or beyond a reasonable doubt; there are other ways to evaluate evidence as well. The attorney can explain how the law will weigh contributing factors against outcomes to reach a final verdict if the matter is tried in court.
Courts follow specific timelines as to when documents need to be filed in a certain order. Wrongful death attorneys are familiar with the process and can advise family members on the general framework of filings and court appearances, along with costs that may be involved.
Experienced attorneys will advise family members of what to expect if they pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Expert witnesses, depositions, interrogatories, and other legal activities will be explained so the family can be prepared if they decide to proceed with legal action.
Losing a loved one is never easy. But it can be especially difficult when you believe it may be due to a person’s or company’s negligence or mistake. Legal counsel can help you sort out the facts and make an informed decision about whether to file a lawsuit on behalf of your deceased family member.