When your loved one passes away due to the negligent actions of another, you have the right to seek compensation for your loss. Suppose you are a qualifying family member of the deceased. In that case, you can file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for losses such as funeral expenses, medical expenses, and burial expenses. Surviving family members can work with a Tucson wrongful death lawyer to help get justice this wrongful act. You can learn more about how wrongful death cases are treated and where to begin. Contact Wattel and York today for a free consultation.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death?
Family members can file wrongful death claims when the deceased has died because of the reckless actions of another. This is when the deceased suffered fatal injuries from the person who caused the damages. A wrongful death case can happen for a variety of reasons, for example medical malpractice, car accidents, product liability, and more.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
A wrongful death attorney will use pure comparative negligence to allow the surviving members the opportunity to recover damages even if the victim is 99% at fault for their personal injury. This means that even 1% of the damages can be claimed in wrongful death cases.
Is Wrongful Death Taxable?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, any settlement amount you receive because of a wrongful death is not taxable. This is because it is considered a claim that stems from physical illness or personal injuries.
Who Can Receive Tucson Wrongful Death Damages?
The surviving family members of the Tucson wrongful death victim can receive damages if they are an immediate family member. This includes the spouse, legal partner, siblings, children, legal guardians, or any beneficiaries listed. If family members can’t come to an agreement on how much they receive after a wrongful death case has been settled, they can go through additional legal proceedings to decide how the compensation is meted out.
How is Wrongful Death Proved?
A wrongful death attorney will use evidence surrounding the wrongful death case to prove that your loved one’s personal injury was caused by the other party’s neglectful actions. This means that the attorney will show how the other party owed your family member a duty of care, breached their duty, caused them injuries, and that this ultimately resulted in harm. Pictures, physical evidence, medical bills, personal accounts of the victim’s pain and suffering, along with other evidence can be used to prove this case. Your attorney may initiate an investigation to find out more information about how the wrongful death happened. They may work with other professionals, request reports and video footage, and uncover more proof to help support your wrongful death claim.
What is Survival Action?
This is a claim that is made along with a wrongful death claim that states that there are additional damages caused by the other party that happened between the time of the personal injury and the death of the victim. For example, this can be income loss, pain and suffering, and medical bills. The survival actions remain even though the victim has passed away.
Is an Autopsy Required for a Wrongful Death?
An autopsy is not legally required for surviving families to file a wrongful death claim. However, it can definitely help your claim and can be used as supporting evidence to help prove that the other party was the cause of your loved one’s death. Autopsies can reveal more information about how they died and what was the direct cause of their death. It can also be included on the death certificate, making the cause of death more accurate.
Is It Better to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Typically, you won’t need a wrongful death lawsuit unless the other party is unwilling to cooperate. Suppose your attorney provides undeniable proof that a personal injury caused your family member’s death, but the other party won’t negotiate a reasonable settlement. In that case, you should file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is when you take your claim to court, and a judge considers all of the information presented by the attorney. Once the judge has made a decision in your favor, then the settlement is legally enforceable and must be paid by the other party.
How Can a Wrongful Death Happen?
Personal injury cases that result in wrongful death can happen in any setting. However, the most common reasons are due to the following:
When another driver is the cause of your loved one’s passing, they can be held liable for their injuries. Automobile accidents can be caused by speeding, ignoring red lights, unsafe lane changes, and more. If the other driver was under the influence of drugs, you could be awarded punitive damages for their reckless disregard for the safety of other drivers. Distracted driving is also another major cause of accidents due to texting and talking on the phone.
Doctors can be the cause of personal injury because of their negligence. They may misdiagnose their patients, give them the wrong medication, provide them with the wrong dosage of medication, perform the wrong surgery, make mistakes during a surgical procedure, or more. Sometimes doctors perform lab tests and don’t take any action, putting your family member’s life at risk. If your loved one’s medical provider is the cause of their death, you can seek damages in a wrongful death claim.
If your family member passed away because of a product they used, this would fall underneath the product liability category. This is when they used a product according to its intended use but were injured because of the product’s flawed design. Even if it isn’t the fault of the manufacturer and someone tampered with the product before it reached your loved one, you can still seek damages from the company responsible for delivering the products or the warehouse managing their distribution.
Workplace Accidents Caused By a Third Party or Subcontractor
Family members can pass away due to a personal injury that happens at their job that can’t be blamed on their employer. This can be because of malfunctioning equipment, chemical exposure, electrical accidents, falling from distant heights, and other occupational hazards that can result in their untimely death. You can work with an attorney to help provide a settlement for wrongful death damages.
It is unfortunate when you trust caretakers to look after your loved one, but they are neglectful in their actions. Nursing homes are sometimes the cause of wrongful death because the staff doesn’t pay attention to their residents’ needs. They may also make medical mistakes, such as mixing up prescription medicine, that can have deadly consequences. If you believe this is the case, you can seek the help of a wrongful death lawyer to prove your claim.
In rare cases, airplanes can cause a deadly personal injury, and the number of these incidents is on the rise. If an airplane crashes and results in your loved one’s passing, it is possible to file a wrongful death civil lawsuit. This is because a fatal crash can be caused by the manufacturing and design of the aircraft.
What Kind of Damages Can I Seek for a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death damages are unique compared to other personal injuries and include more economic and non-economic damages than most personal injury cases. For example, in addition to medical bills, lost income, and property damage, surviving family members can also include lost earning capacity, lost future income, funeral bills, burial costs, and more. Noneconomic damages don’t only include pain and suffering. Surviving family members can also include loss of consortium, loss of guardianship, loss of valuable services, and many other losses. You can ask your wrongful death attorney to help direct you on what you can include in your total settlement.
More Information on Wrongful Death Settlement Claims
You should seek the counsel of a supportive wrongful death attorney who can guide you through this difficult time. Call Wattel and York today for a free consultation.