What to Include in Your Wrongful Death Claim
When someone dies because of the legal fault of another person, the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. This is a kind of lawsuit that seeks compensation for the loss such as medical expenses, lost wages that would have been earned by the deceased, funeral expenses, or the loss of companionship. The right to file a wrongful death claim is a relatively new one and has only been around for the last hundred years. It is also brought in a civil action and is not a criminal trial, even though the death in question could have been due to an illegal action.
Wrongful death claims generally cover fatal accidents, from seemingly straightforward incidents such as car crashes to more complicated medical malpractice and product liability cases. People, companies and government agencies can all be sued and found legally at fault for wrongful death.
What You Need for a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim attempts to seek compensation for damages for the loss of life. As we discussed before, this can include medical expenses, lost wages if the deceased was providing for his or her family and funeral expenses. A spouse can also seek compensation for emotional damages stemming from the loss of companionship.
If you are filing a wrongful death claim, the first thing you need to do is speak to a wrongful death attorney in Pittsburgh, Pa. A wrongful death attorney can help you determine if you have a case and if you are permitted to file a lawsuit. Children, spouses, and other members of the deceased’s immediate family file most wrongful death lawsuits. In most cases, anybody who has suffered financially due to the loss of life can file a claim.
When you file a wrongful death claim, the burden of proof falls on you. Your attorney will be able to tell you what you need for your case, but in general you should gather any documentation that you think might help your case. This can include hospital bills if the deceased was receiving medical attention because of the accident, a police report detailing the incident, witness testimonies or records showing that a dangerous product was sold to the deceased.
Immunity from Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Some people and entities may be immune from wrongful death claims. For example, a company might have its employees sign a waiver that releases the company from any liability should any of their workers be killed on the job. Certain government agencies may also be immune to wrongful death claims in certain circumstances. These laws vary from state to state. You should speak to your wrongful death attorney to see if this is the case for your claim.
In any event, it is always a good idea to speak to a wrongful death attorney if you’ve recently lost a loved one due to an accident or negligence. While there is no true way to make up for the loss of a loved one, you can relieve yourself of the financial burdens associated with your loss by contacting Goldberg, Persky & White Attorneys at Law. Our team of Pittsburgh wrongful death attorneys can provide you with a free, no obligation case review, assessing your unique situation and creating a strategy that works to make up for the devastating loss of your loved one. Don’t let the high costs of funeral expenses and medical care compound the feelings of loss after a loved one has passed away. Get the compensation your family deserves by contacting GPW today.