Do I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer If a Family Member Died?
By Chris Dixon
Losing a family member is never easy, but it can be especially difficult to lose a family member because of another person’s carelessness. If your family member’s death was caused by medical malpractice, in a car accident, or because of a defective product, you could be entitled to recover compensation for the victim’s harm and losses by filing a wrongful death claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Am I Eligible to File a Claim if a Family Member Dies?
Thousands of people are killed every year in motor vehicle and medical malpractice accidents. If another person’s negligence is responsible for your family member’s wrongful death, you might be able to file a claim and recover damages on their behalf. Typically, a victim’s immediate family members such as their spouse or life partner, children, or parents, are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, but in some states, if there isn’t anyone available from this category, a victim’s grandparents, siblings, and other descendants can file a claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assess the victim’s case, determine if you are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent party, and ensure that you are within your state’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims.
The time frame for filing a claim against a negligent party in an accident is between one to six years after the accident occurred, but the time frame for filing a wrongful death claim is significantly shorter. For example, in the State of Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is within five years of the accident, while the Missouri Wrongful Death Statute states that wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the accident and medical malpractice claims within two years from the point of discovery. It can be difficult to navigate the wrongful death process when a family member dies, but with an experienced lawyer by your side representing your case and offering support, the process is streamlined, and the odds of recovering the maximum amount of damages for your family member’s suffering significantly increase.
Who is Liable for Damages When a Family Member Dies?
If someone else’s negligence caused your family member’s untimely death, in most states, they are liable to compensate you for any harm or losses that the victim experienced because of their carelessness. However, if there is even the slightest chance that the victim contributed to their fatal injuries, the other party might not be liable to compensate you for damages.
It can be challenging to figure out whether a victim’s death was caused by a person’s negligence or the result of an unavoidable accident, but by gathering substantial evidence and contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately after a family member dies, compensation can quickly be recovered. The most common types of personal injury wrongful death accidents include:
It’s important to keep in mind that even if your family member died in a tragic accident, every case isn’t eligible to recover compensation. If you need help determining whether you can obtain compensation for your family member’s wrongful death, you should consult a lawyer about the accident immediately, have them analyze the situation, and develop a plan to recover damages for your family member’s harm and losses.
How Can a Lawyer Help If a Family Member Dies?
If you lost a family member in a fatal accident and need help bringing a wrongful death suit against the negligent party, contacting a personal injury lawyer ensures that details from the accident are preserved, the victim’s rights are protected, and your case has a compelling claim. Ready to discuss your family member’s wrongful death with an experienced lawyer, but aren’t sure where to find one? Contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation and find out more about how you can get justice for your family member’s wrongful death.