When a family loses a loved one due to a tragic accident that was caused by another’s negligence or recklessness, that family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party. At the Law Office of Todd W. Burris, we see a great deal of misinformation regarding wrongful death cases, how they work, and in what conditions they can be filed.
We’d like to put an end to some of that misinformation if possible. Here are 4 things you may not know about wrongful death lawsuits:
- Wrongful death cases are about negligence—not about breaking the law.
When someone breaks the law and a loved one dies, that’s when a criminal investigation generally begins. If no laws are broken and a loved one dies due to the negligent, careless, or reckless acts of another human being, that’s not a criminal matter necessarily, but it is one that can be considered a wrongful death.
Wrongful death law encompasses a larger area of legal cases than many people think. When a hospital fails to deliver the standard level of care yet is not found guilty of a crime, this can be defined as negligence. When a car manufacturer unknowingly releases a part that causes death and injury, we call this a case of negligence. When a driver loses control of their vehicle and kills another person, this is also a case of negligence. These situations are examples of wrongful death cases.
- Criminal and civil cases are separate from one another.
Many families are under the impression that if they have lost a loved one in a hit-and-run car accident, for example, and the case is currently under criminal investigation, that they cannot additionally file a lawsuit against the guilty driver. Criminal cases are entirely separate from civil cases. A lawsuit is a civil case and can absolutely be filed in addition to any criminal charges already in place. Lawsuits enable family members to obtain compensation for costs unassociated with criminal activity.
- Calculating loss is incredibly difficult.
The financial compensation you’re allowed to receive after a successful wrongful death lawsuit can pay for more than your loved one’s funeral costs or loss of earning capacity. Wrongful death damages can go beyond the tangible, economic costs of loss and can additionally provide compensation for loss of love and companionship, pain and suffering, loss of guidance and care, and loss of comfort and consortium.
- Many lawyers are afraid to take on complex wrongful death cases.
Wrongful death cases can be very complicated depending on the nature of a case as well as the individuals, corporations, or industries involved. Many lawyers who are used to taking on more generalized personal injury cases are not equipped to handle wrongful death cases and may turn your case away.
If your family has a possible case on your hands, your best option is to seek out a wrongful death lawyer who is experienced and specializes in the specific area(s) your case involves. Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY wrongful death lawyer, for example, specializes in car accident, truck accident, and other types of wrongful death cases involving motorized vehicles and/or serious injuries. He has the experience and knowledge necessary to help your family receive the compensation you need.
If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident of this nature and believe the accident was caused by negligence, reckless driving, or careless actions, contact our offices to learn more. We offer a no-obligation case consultation and can provide you with the legal counsel and peace of mind you deserve.