Wrongful Death Lawyers

A wrongful death claim is a personal injury lawsuit that can be pursued when someone is killed due to another party’s negligence or intentional act. In simpler terms, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate if your loved one died due to the deliberate behavior of someone else. 

Victims of the wrongful death claim may receive compensation for both the financial and emotional losses they have suffered.
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The word wrong death is written on a piece of paper, representing a personal injury or auto accident attorney's acknowledgment of a tragic incident.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

When someone is injured through the negligent or intentional acts of another, that person has the right to seek monetary compensation or damages. But what happens when the incident results in the unfortunate loss of a life? How can you seek justice for the death of your loved one?

Long ago, the liable party faced jail time but didn’t have to worry about paying financial damages. While the deceased individual couldn’t claim damages, his or her family was left suffering a financial burden as well as an emotional loss.  Skilled  Lawyers for Wrongful Death  know too well that there are some immoral people who use this to their advantage. They soon realized that, while murder would result in a longer incarceration, it would save criminals from having to pay out on a personal injury claim.

Fortunately, this situation prompted lawmakers to address the flaw in our system. Today, our laws provide a way to recover damages by filing a wrongful death claim.

In this way, the family receives compensation for their loss, designed to help them cope with the financial costs incurred by the wrongful death

Ask a Wrongful Death Lawyer: What are the Elements of Wrongful in a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are four fundamental elements that your wrongful death attorney must establish to move your case forward.

Typically, the wrongful death attorney will go over the facts of the accident lawsuit with you at your initial consultation to determine if these elements can be met. If even one condition can’t be proven in court, you may have to drop your claim. Check out this helpful checklist for a valid wrongful death claim:

1. Breach of Duty

Your wrongful death lawyer must be able to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent and that he breached that duty. This means that the defendant was responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the deceased individual – and that he failed to meet that obligation. In a car accident, for instance, running a stop sign would be considered a breach of duty because that driver was reasonably expected to obey that traffic law.

2. Negligence

An individual can be negligent either through inaction or deliberate or reckless acts. When someone fails to mark off or repair an unsafe area, this is negligence through inaction. Alternatively, deliberately pushing someone and causing them to fall over the side of a cliff, is negligence by a deliberate act. Even if he never intended for the decedent to fall over the edge of the cliff, his negligence was the root cause of the death.

3. Causation

Your wrongful death attorney must also show that the defendant’s actions caused the death. While this may sound redundant, negligence doesn’t always cause death. For instance, one driver crashed into another driver as a result of running a red light. The second driver is injured but alive. If he later dies of a heart attack, which was not caused by the injuries, the first driver did not cause the death.

4. Damages

It must also be shown that financial damages were suffered as a result of death. If your lawyer can prove the first three elements, showing a financial loss often follows naturally. At the very least, there were the medical care costs of treating the individual before his death. Plus, the funeral and burial expenses of the deceased must be added. Your best wrongful death attorney will try to show that you have suffered additional damages to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

What Types of Damages Can You Collect in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Many types of damages can be claimed when filing a wrongful death lawsuit, although not every type can be claimed in every case. Your wrongful death attorney will discuss the types of damages you can expect to receive after they examine the facts of your case. Here is a list of the damages most commonly claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit:
Medical bills
Funeral and burial costs
Pain and suffering
Loss of income
Loss of inheritance
Loss of services provided by the deceased
Loss of care, guidance, and nurturing provided by the deceased
Loss of love and companionship
Loss of consortium

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The Mike Hostilo Law Firm can manage your wrongful death claim, as well as a wide variety of other cases – including car crashes, trucking accidents, and other accident lawsuits. We are here to help!

Our personal injury law firm proudly serves accident injury victims throughout Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.
So, if you’re searching for a trusted personal injury law firm near me to fight for your legal claim, contact The Mike Hostilo Law Firm today!
Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me

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Wrongful Death Cases - Frequently Asked Questions

A wrongful death attorney specializes in representing the surviving family members of a deceased person whose death was caused by the negligence, misconduct, or intentional actions of another party. They work to pursue compensation on behalf of the family for damages resulting from the loss, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and emotional suffering. These attorneys handle all legal aspects of the case, including investigation, negotiations, and, if necessary, litigation.
Common causes of wrongful death cases include car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, premises liability accidents, defective products, and criminal actions like homicide or manslaughter. These cases typically involve negligence or intentional wrongdoing that leads to a person's death.
Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit may include medical and funeral expenses, lost income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and in some cases, punitive damages. The exact amount depends on factors like the circumstances of the death and the impact on surviving family members.
The time it takes to resolve a wrongful death case can vary widely. Some cases settle in months through negotiations, while others may take years if litigation is involved. The complexity of the case and the willingness of the parties to reach an agreement play a significant role.
Yes, in most jurisdictions, certain family members or representatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person. These parties often include spouses, children, parents, or the estate's executor. The specific rules can vary by state.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim varies by state, but it typically ranges from one to three years from the date of the death. It's crucial to consult with an attorney promptly to determine the specific time limit in your jurisdiction.
To prove a wrongful death claim, you generally need to establish that the death resulted from the defendant's negligence or intentional misconduct. Common elements include demonstrating duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. An attorney can help you navigate the specific requirements in your jurisdiction.
Important evidence in a wrongful death case may include medical records, accident reports, witness statements, expert testimony, and any documents related to the death, such as employment records or product defects. Your attorney will gather and present this evidence to build your case.
Not all wrongful death lawsuits go to court. Many cases are resolved through negotiations and settlements with the at-fault party or their insurance company. Whether your case goes to court depends on factors like the strength of your case and the parties' willingness to reach an agreement.
Yes, you can sue for emotional distress in a wrongful death case. Emotional distress is a common element in wrongful death claims, as surviving family members often suffer significant emotional pain and suffering as a result of the loss.
During the initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer, you can expect to discuss the circumstances of the death, potential liability, and the legal process. The attorney will evaluate the strength of your case, explain the legal fees and their approach, and answer any questions you may have. It's an opportunity to assess your comfort with the attorney and their expertise in handling wrongful death cases.

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*"Contingent attorneys” "No fee unless you win or collect" and "You only pay us if we win your personal injury claim" fees refer only to those fees charged by attorneys for their legal services. Such fees are not permitted in all types of cases. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client.

Any result the lawyer or law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Mike Hostilo is not licensed to practice law in South Carolina.
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