Wrongful death claims can be brought against someone who causes another’s death through their negligence or through an intentional act. Wrongful death suits have arisen from a variety of situations ranging from an intentional act such as homicide to medical malpractice where a doctor negligently fails to provide necessary care. Sometimes wrongful death claims result following a fatal car accident, where one person’s negligence led to the death of another and other times it stems from a product liability case.
Who is Liable in a Wrongful Death Case?
To hold a defendant liable in a wrongful death claim due to negligence, the plaintiffs must show that (A) the defendant owed a duty of care (B) that the defendant breached that duty (C) the breach resulted in the direct or proximate cause of the death and (D) that the death resulted in damages.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Damages may include pain and suffering of the decedent, medical costs incurred prior to death, and funeral and burial costs. Loss of the decedent’s income, any potential inheritance, and the value of services the decedent provided may also be considered. Compensation may include damages for loss of care or guidance and loss of love and companionship.
Family Members and Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim may be brought be a representative on behalf of the survivors who suffer damage from the decedent’s death. Parties of interest may include immediate family members, life partners, distant family members or others who suffer financially from the death of the deceased depending on state laws.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer for Help
If your family member has been fatally injured in an accident due to the intentional act or the negligence of another, you may wish to pursue a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death cases involve complex areas of law and require a skilled attorney so that survivors are able to receive the greatest amount of compensation they are owed under the law. Contact the Des Moines Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for compassionate and knowledgeable representation of your wrongful death case.
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