Sometimes accidents are inevitable but there are those accidents that happen because of someone else’s negligence. In such a case, you can file for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits are very complicated and you might need to consult a wrongful death lawyer before filing one. Below are 5 common factors to consider before filing a wrongful death lawsuit:
1. Can You Sue for Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Only surviving family members can file for a wrongful death claim. You can file for monetary damages such as funeral expenses, medical expenses, inheritance and loss of support. While surviving family members such as parents, wives, siblings and children can sue for a wrongful death claim, they may not receive damages equally. This is because there are some plaintiffs who will receive more loss than others.
For example, a parent who was receiving $100 check every month from the deceased will not receive the same kind of compensation as their five year old daughter who relied solely on the parent to provide. The child would receive the most because it was fully reliant on the parent to provide.
Figuring out who should file for a wrongful death claim is easy. The hard part is figuring out damages and how everyone should be compensated.
2. Wrongful Death Claim vs Workers Compensation
Under workers compensation, employees cannot sue their employers for a personal injury claim. This is because it’s expected that workers compensation insurance will cover any losses that an employee suffers should they get involved in a work related accident. However, you can sue for a wrongful death claim if a loved one dies because of a work related injury.
3. What is a Wrongful Death of the Mother Claim?
The wrongful death claim of a mother and that of a child are viewed differently. If medical malpractice causes a mother to die during childbirth, then immediate family members and even the baby can file a claim. However, there are some factors that you should keep in mind if a wrongful death of a mother occurs.
First, you can hold the doctors, nurses and any other medical professional who was in charge of your mother’s care while at the hospital. If a medical device malfunctioned and caused the death, you can also sue the manufacturer of the device.
Secondly, you must prove:
- Your mother died
- Her death was as a result of negligence by the medical personnel
- You suffered harm due to your mother’s death. Harm in this case could be expenses you incurred while planning her funeral, lost wages, loss of companionship, etc.
Third, you must file for a wrongful death claim before the statute of limitations expires. Wrongful death claims have a shorter statute of limitations. This is why you should consult with a wrongful death claim lawyer as soon as possible.
4. Which Damages can You Recover From a Wrongful Death Claim?
You can recover two types of damages: pecuniary damages and punitive damages. Pecuniary damages not only cover financial loss but they also cover loss of spousal support or parental guidance among other types of support and services. A number of factors determine the value of the damages that you will be awarded. In most cases, expert witnesses will be hired to calculate damages. They will explain to the judge and jury how the calculations were done and why you deserve that amount.
The expert witness will factor in how much the deceased was earning as well as their future lost wages based on normal life expectancy. They will also factor in whether the deceased had dependants.
Punitive Damages are damages meant to punish the person responsible for the death of your loved one. However, punitive damages are not very common.
5. When is It too Late to File for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing for a wrongful death claim in Rhode Island is three years. You should, however, keep in mind that statute of limitations are regularly revised so it is very important that you consult with a Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
Consulting with a Rhode Island Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one through negligence, you should consider speaking to a Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer to find out whether you have a claim. We can help you make sense of your claim, the process of making your claim and the damages you are entitled to. Call us today at 401-751-0101 for a free initial consultation.