If an accident due to the negligence of a someone results in the death of another, surviving ones may file a lawsuit for “wrongful death” claims. The person at fault may be a drunk driver or even the person who served alcohol to the driver which resulted in him driving drunk causing the accident. These wrongful death claims to provide financial support for widows and orphans of the victim.
Who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In general, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit. The specific person may vary from state to state and may include the deceased spouse, children, immediate family members and even parents. Personal injury lawyers are usually the most common legal representative for such cases. Any Maryland accident attorney can help with the filing of the wrongful lawsuit or claims.
Proving a wrongful death
Unlike criminal cases, wrongful death lawsuits may use the same evidence but is usually held at a lower standard of proof. In order to win the lawsuit against the defending party, proof must be presented that the death was a direct or indirect result of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct. It’s also important to present poof that the surviving family members of the victim are suffering a monetary injury caused by the victim’s death.
Damages in a wrongful death
In wrongful death cases, financial is usually the main measure of damages. This is interpreted in court as including financial injury from loss in support and services, loss of inheritance, medical and funeral expenses incurred from the accident. It’s the judiciary’s responsibility that the damages that will be awarded will be fair and just to all the parties concerned. Lastly, damage awards from wrongful death cases will include an interest rate from when the decedent died.