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If you live in Kentucky, Indiana, or Ohio the laws regarding filing a wrongful death lawsuit are different in each state. Our experienced, compassionate wrongful death attorneys are available now to listen, answer your questions, and help you to decide whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Call Isaacs & Isaacs at 800-800-8888 for a free case evaluation. We are here for you 24/7.
What Are Wrongful Death Damages?
A wrongful death is a devastating and tragic event for the remaining family members who are left to pick up the pieces. In addition to the complicated emotions surrounding the sudden death of a loved one, you may be faced with insurmountable financial difficulties.
In a wrongful death lawsuit plaintiffs recover damages for the negligence or harmful act of another that caused their loved one’s death. The laws about who can collect damages vary from state to state, so you will need to talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney before filing your lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Defined
Wrongful death is defined as a fatality that occurs due to the negligence or harmful act of another individual, company or entity. With a wrongful death claim a family, beneficiary, dependent, or estate of the deceased is able to seek compensation against the person or company that caused the death of a loved one. In some states, the claim pays funeral and burial expenses to the estate and the cost of the wrongful death lawsuit. Depending on the state where the wrongful death occurred, the remaining monies recovered from the damage award are typically paid to the spouse and/or children. If no spouse or children survive the decedent, the funds are typically paid to the surviving parents. In the event of no surviving family members, the funds go back to the estate to be distributed to the beneficiaries.
The Centers for Disease Control identifies the following 2013 figures related to accidental death rates:
- 30,208 deaths from an unintentional fall
- 130,557 deaths related to unintentional injuries
- 33,804 deaths from motor vehicle traffic accidents
- 38,851 deaths from unintentional poisoning
What is Negligence?
Negligence occurs when another person (such as a driver on a public road) or an entity (like a manufacturer) owes a duty of care to a person (passenger or other driver) or group of people (consumers or employees) and breaches that duty of care.
In order for negligence to be grounds for a lawsuit the breach of duty must cause actual damages to the person/group who is owed a duty of care.
How A Wrongful Death Law Firm Proves Negligence
In order for a wrongful death law firm to prove negligence, four elements must be present:
- The negligence of the defendant must be directly responsible for the victim’s death.
- The death was wholly or partially caused by the defendant.
- The death caused monetary damages.
- The death affected you or a family member, who in turn qualify for damages through a settlement or verdict.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims
The following are the most common causes of wrongful death:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – Whether the accident involves cars, motorcycles, trucks or even pedestrians, vehicular accidents can occur due to negligence of another driver. If a death occurs as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a wrongful death claim can be brought against the negligent individual and perhaps others.
- Medical Malpractice – Defined as when a doctor, technician, nurse or other health care worker does not provide adequate care according to accepted standards in the medical community.
- Workplace Accidents – When it comes to safety in the workplace, employers must follow strict safety standards outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Industries such as fishing, construction, logging, trucking, electrical and mining are frequently referred to as high risk. If employee training isn’t sufficient or faulty equipment is used that results in an employee death, a wrongful death claim may be made against the employer. This applies to all industries under OSHA regulations.
- Product Liability – Manufacturers, retailers and distributors have a responsibility regarding the products they sell, distribute or produce. If a family member dies because an entity sold a defective product that was created using a faulty design or a flawed manufacturing process, a lawsuit may be filed for a wrongful death claim.
- Airplane Accidents – Airplane accidents that result in fatalities can fall into the wrongful death category. If a piece of equipment malfunctions or a pilot flies a plane while under the influence of drugs or alcohol that results in the death of an individual, a wrongful death case may be initiated.