Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

When an accident occurs, there are, almost always, two consequences: property damage and personal injury. A personal injury is the result of another person’s or party’s negligence and it can happen through various ways, including, but not limited to: car accidents; truck accidents; motorcycle accidents; medical malpractice; construction accidents; dangerous products; slip and fall accident; or, nursing home negligence.

According to the website of the Jeff Sampson law firm, reckless or negligent act resulting in personal injury is considered a civil offense or a tortious act. This is different from a criminal offense and the courts work differently for either type of case. Under the law, the person or party (called a tortfeasor) who/which caused the injury is legally required to compensate the victim for all the damages that he/she has been and will still be subjected to due to the injury; these include lost wages, cost of medical treatment and others.

There are extreme cases, however, when the effect of an accident is much more damaging than a severe injury; there are times when it leads to a victim’s wrongful or untimely death. In the event of death a representative, who would act on behalf of the victim’s survivors (legally identified as “real parties in interest”), can file a lawsuit called a wrongful death claim.

The identities of real parties in interest vary from one state to another. They may be:

  • The deceased victim’s immediate family, which includes the spouse, child/children and/or adopted children
  • Distant family members, like brothers and sisters, and grandparents
  • Those directly financially affected by the victim’s death due to the cessation of the victim’s care or support;
  • The deceased victim’s (financial) dependents, life partner or putative spouse (a person who sincerely believes that he/she and the deceased were married)
  • Parents of a deceased fetus (while there are states that consider as real parties in interest only the parents of child already born, there are those, on the other hand, that consider the fetus’ death a basis for a wrongful death claim)

A wrongful death lawsuit is not a simple procedure and even if the liable party were willing to settle with the victim’s survivors, the amount of compensation given is often not a just amount. In this type of legal procedure, it is highly necessary that the deceased victim’s survivors are represented by an able lawyer, whose expertise, experience and dedication are unquestionable. A personal injury lawyer is the legal professional whose services can be used for this type of lawsuit.

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