The Business Litigation Blog

Seeking Justice for the Wrongful Death of Your Loved One

If you are reading this article, it is possible that you are currently enduring a deep period of grief, sadness and devastation over the loss of a loved one. This person may have been taken away too soon, due to the negligence or carelessness of another person. Losing a cherished loved one before their time can cause substantial anger and agony. You may be lacking energy to go about your daily life and are having trouble taking care of responsibilities, as you go through this excruciating time. You may have not had the opportunity to say goodbye, and now you must deal with the aftermath of a such a tragic accident. Here in this article, we have answered common questions a loved one of the deceased may ask themselves when handling a wrongful death.

 

What exactly is wrongful death?

When the term wrongful death is used, it is referring the fatality of a person due to the fault of another person or company. A few examples of wrongful death incidents can include a drunk driver causing the fatality of those in a nearby car, machinery malfunctioning in a construction zone, failure of a doctor to diagnose a fatal illness, or the defect of a purchased product.

 

Who can pursue a wrongful death claim of the deceased loved one?

Depending on your state, there are multiple people who can file a wrongful death claim against the party at-fault for the fatality. For a minor person to be able to file a wrongful death claim, he or she must have lived with the decedent for 180 days before death, and the deceased must have provided half of support. In general, those who may be entitled to such a claim are the following:

 

-          The surviving spouse

-          Children of the marriage

-          The domestic partner

-          A putative spouse

-          Children of putative spouse

-          Minor person

 

How soon after the death should someone seek legal assistance?

If a person is considering filing a wrongful death claim, he or she should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Some people may need to grieve before getting into legalities. This is perfectly fine and normal for many. When you are ready, schedule an appointment with an attorney that is sensitive and has experience representing clients in wrongful death cases. Be prepared that you may have to share feelings, experiences and information about the person who passed. This can bring up many difficult emotions and trigger the pain of their leaving.

 

What is the downside to waiting to talk to a wrongful death attorney Washington, D.C., trusts?

Keep in mind that insurance companies, government individuals and hospitals may attempt to cover up, destroy proof or otherwise eliminate responsibility of the fatality. There is a two year time-frame in which a person can file a wrongful death claim. However, that may give plenty of time for the people at-fault to cover their tracks. Respect your grieving period, while also remembering the importance of swift action in pursuing justice for your loved one.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., for their insight into wrongful death.

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