How to File a Wrongful Death Claim

Filing a wrongful death claim should be completed with the help or counsel of a wrongful death attorney and it includes reimbursement or compensation for a variety of circumstances. Each state within the country has its own statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. A statute of limitations is a specified period of time that is allotted for people to file their wrongful death claim. Attorneys recommend that the victim of a family member involved in a wrongful death case should file their claim as quickly as possible so it doesn’t miss the statute of limitations.

If a claim is filed for wrongful death, the victims will more than likely be asking for compensation or reimbursement for one or more of the following:

  • Punitive damages if the death was a result of criminal activity
  • Property damage
  • Future services normally provided to the person filing by the person who has died
  • Any medical expenses as a result of the death
  • Loss of any future income
  • Loss of consortium. Consortium refers to companionship, help, and affection from the person who has died
If you or a loved one may have been involved a Fatal Accident, consult with a Wrongful Death Attorney in your area for a few case review in exploring legal remedies.

Anyone that wishes to file a wrongful death claim needs to first meet some basic requirements. The basic requirements are the need for proof of death (death certificate signed by a coroner), evidence or a witness that another party is responsible for the death, and the family must be able to prove that they are suffering from emotional, traumatic, or economic trauma as a result of the wrongful death. Once these requirements are met, the wrongful death suit can be filed with a court of law and a wrongful death attorney.

Once a lawyer is hired to represent the plaintiff, the defendant must be able to be identified before any papers are filed with the proper authorities and the attorney must be able to prove that the victim was killed as a result of another person’s negligence. As mentioned earlier, the next step is to determine the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations also covers the amount of time an investigation can occur by an attorney to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and identify the defendant. Not all states or counties in the country allow people to file their own wrongful death claim and require people to be represented by an attorney in a court of law to speed up the process.

Once these first steps are complete the plaintiff must then acquire and begin to fill out all of the required forms and paperwork for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. These forms can be obtained at a local courthouse or can be taken care of by a wrongful death attorney. The final step in the filing process includes serving the defendant in the case with the lawsuit. This should be done via a courier, a court official, or the plaintiff’s attorney to make sure that the defendant in the case receives the paperwork and they understand that they are being sued.

There are four main elements of a wrongful death claim and if one of the four is not met the claim will not stand up in a court of law. The four elements are that the death was caused by another person; the death occurred as a result of the other person’s negligence; the death that occurred is affecting a surviving spouse, child, or other beneficiaries of the victim and the death must have resulted in some form of monetary damages. A wrongful death attorney will be able to assist in proving all four areas that are required to file a claim.

 

If you or a loved one may have been involved a Fatal Accident, consult with a Wrongful Death Attorney in your area for a free case review in exploring legal remedies.

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