Losing a loved one is always distressing and unbearable, but if you know the loss was caused by the reckless actions or misconduct of another person, it is even harder to process. When someone causes the death of another person, even though they may face criminal charges related to the death, they can still be taken to court for wrongful death, which is a civil action. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the responsible party.
At Purvis Gray Thomson, LLP, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against a person or entity whose reckless behavior or misconduct caused the death of your loved one. While we know that no amount of money can bring your loved one back, we hope that financial compensation can help support you and your family, through this difficult time, and through the future.
In a wrongful death case, the standard of proof is lower than it is in a criminal case for murder or manslaughter. In a criminal case, you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of the person on trial caused the death of the deceased. Because a wrongful death is a civil action, you only have to prove your case on the balance of probabilities, which means that based on the evidence about the circumstances leading to the death, the occurrence of death was more likely than not. To succeed in a wrongful death case, you have to show that the defendant acted negligently or intentionally took wrongful actions that caused the death of your loved one.
Your loved one cannot represent themselves after death, so they would have to be represented by someone else in a wrongful death case. Every state has different rules about who can represent a deceased person in a wrongful death case, but in most states spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children can represent their loved one in a wrongful death case. Some states also allow siblings, grandparents, and financial dependents of the deceased to file a wrongful death case.
Every state has their own rules about how to initiate a wrongful death case and who can be sued in a wrongful death case. For instance, some government agencies cannot be taken to court for a wrongful death case. Some state laws also limit how much compensation you can get in a wrongful death case. If your wrongful death case is successful, you may be able to get compensation for economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses include medical and funeral expenses, loss of support and income, and other quantifiable losses. Non-economic losses are those losses that cannot be quantified like pain and suffering. Your lawyer will have access to expert economists who have experience in evaluating factors like life expectancy to estimate lost earnings and other losses that you will be claiming compensation for.
If your loved one was killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, contact our attorneys at Purvis Gray Thomson, LLP for help. We understand that nothing can take away the pain of losing a loved one, but we hope that financial compensation will help bring you and your family financial stability and ultimately, some peace of mind. Call us at 800-200-3120 for a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys.