Wrongful Death Attorneys
The law involving wrongful death is challenging. Because of this challenge, a potential wrongful death claimant should find an injury attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in the special rules regarding the procedures involved in making the claim and pursuing the full nature and extent of the damages which can be recovered in a claim. Moore·Faust Injury Law Group have successfully prosecuted many wrongful death claims. Each state has its own "wrongful death statutes" or other laws under which a person may claim damage because of someone else's death.
Who may have a cause of action for Wrongful Death?
In most states, the only claimants who are authorized to seek wrongful death damages are the people who would be the deceased's beneficiaries under the laws of the state. First in line are the surviving spouse, children, and surviving issue of deceased children of the decedent. If there are no such claimants, next in line are the person's parents; then brothers and sisters; then the children of deceased brothers and sisters; then grandparents; and then their lineal descendants.
What damages might claimants recover for Wrongful Death?
Generally, juries are instructed that they can award successful claimants three kinds of damages in Wrongful Death matters:
- The loss of the love, companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace, moral support, and (if a spouse is a claimant) consortium of the decedent;
- The value of the household services the decedent would have provided in the future, if any, and
- The value of the financial support which the claimant would have received from the decedent but for the death.
What is a survival action?
A limited portion of the decedent's claim survives his death: the action to recover those limited damages is often referred to as a "survival action". In most states, the estate of the decedent has the right to pursue a "survival action". The decedent's claim for pain and suffering, disfigurement, and any future damages dies when the decedent dies. In most cases, that leaves only the "economic damages" medical bills, lost income, etc. which existed before the death. However, a claim for punitive damages survives the death, and can make a large contribution to the recovery that might be available to the decedent's estate in the appropriate case.
The unique challenges presented by a Wrongful Death claim
To pursue a wrongful death claim, one should find attorneys who are experienced in establishing and proving wrongful death damages. The attorney should have the empathy, insight, and skill to determine the damages recoverable in the action. The attorney needs to be familiar with the right experts who can evaluate the claimant's losses.
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