When a loved one passes away without warning, it can leave family members in shock as they grieve the loss and face new financial burdens. This is particularly true after the death of an individual due to the reckless or negligent actions of another person or party. If you lost a family member in any type of accident, it may be in the interests of your family to consider the legal options available. The family of the deceased may have grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim.
The pursuit of a legal claim after the death of a loved one may not be the main priority during this time, but it is in your interest to consider this option. If the death of your loved one was a result of the actions of someone else, that individual or another party may be responsible for the fatal accident. While seeking financial compensation cannot reverse what happened, it may provide you the ability to seek justice while securing the resources necessary to address certain losses.
Options for surviving family members
The death of a family member is always tragic, but it is not always grounds for a wrongful death claim. In order to have a valid reason to seek compensation through the civil justice system, the claimant must be able to provide evidence of the death of a human being, as well as the following:
- The death was the result of the actions or negligence of another person or party, or it was the result of the intent to cause harm.
- Family members left behind are suffering financially as a result of the unexpected death.
- Remaining family members appointed one person to act as the representative of the estate.
A wrongful death claim may be appropriate in cases involving a fatal car accident, a death related to an occupational hazard, criminal activity, an aviation accident or a death that occurred during a supervised activity.
What damages can you pursue?
The specific damages you may be able to pursue in a wrongful death claim will depend on the details of your individual situation. An assessment of your potential case, including the nature of the fatal accident, the losses your family suffered and more, could offer insight into the legal options available to you. A civil claim may be an important step in the long process of putting your life back together and moving forward after a tragic event.