When your family loses a beloved member, life ceases to be normal. Your daily activities are put on pause as you grieve and struggle to understand what happened, and if your loved one died because of another party’s negligence, you have an added desire to seek justice. Additionally, your family also may have had to pay out-of-pocket for services related to your loved one’s injuries and death, including medical expenses like surgeries and hospital stays, funeral and burial expenses, and more. If your family relied on your loved one financially, you may also be feeling the financial strain of losing an important source of income. You may be wondering what your legal options are to recover these damages.
Fortunately, in some states, there are two options available: wrongful death claims and survival actions. You can recover damages from the at-fault party through both, but there are some key differences to be aware of. It’s important to talk to a wrongful death attorney during this time, who can educate you on your options and offer a recommendation based on your family’s unique situation.
Wrongful Death Claims
Family members can file a wrongful death claim as a civil lawsuit for damages. Damages that can be recovered from the negligent individual or entity include grief and suffering, lost current and future income, funeral expenses, and any outstanding medical bills. In this way, a wrongful death claim focuses on the suffering of the surviving family members.
Survival actions, on the other hand, center around the suffering of the individual who passed away from their injuries, rather than on the grief of their family. Through this action, the deceased’s family can recover damages relating to their loved one’s pain and suffering, as well as their medical bills and lost earnings. Recovered damages include things that the deceased could have recovered through a personal injury lawsuit, had they survived their injuries. The compensation is dispersed through their estate to family members, rather than directly.
Who Is Eligible to File a Claim?
Whether your family decides to file a wrongful death lawsuit or a survival action, all states have laws establishing eligibility. While survival actions are typically filed by the executor of the deceased’s estate, wrongful death claims are broader and can be filed by immediate family members, including spouses and children, as well as anyone else who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased.
To learn more about who can file a claim in your state, or to determine which option is right for your family, you must call our wrongful death attorneys. We can help you fully understand what is at stake for your family, then move forward to pursuing justice once you’ve made your decision.
Easing Your Financial Burdens
At Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., we know this may be the most challenging time for your family. Losing a loved one is an intensely emotional experience, and losing them to injuries caused by negligence can produce several strong emotions, including helplessness and anger. On top of your grief, your family may also be struggling beneath the weight of damages accrued due to the accident, including any medical bills, lost income, property damage, and funeral and burial costs. Our wrongful death lawyers can be trusted to fight for your right to full compensation while you focus on being with your family during this time. Our team knows which components every successful wrongful death claim must have, and we can act on your case quickly and efficiently.
When you lose someone you love, you want to hire a compassionate lawyer you can trust to secure the compensation your family needs to heal. Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. is a law firm you can lean on for support. Call our team today at (888) 398-2277, or contact us online for a free consultation.