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Things you should know before filing a wrongful death lawsuit

By December 23, 2022June 20th, 2024Medical malpractice, News, Wrongful death
Legal scales used in the legal process including wrongful death lawsuits

What is a wrongful death lawsuit? 

This isn’t a pleasant matter to discuss, but it’s imperative to understand if you get involved in such an unfortunate situation. The best way to understand a topic’s legalities is to start from scratch. Simply put, a wrongful death lawsuit is a case where a death resulted from the unlawful actions of another person. Now let’s flesh out some of the specifics. 

Factors that qualify something as a “wrongful death”

While there are always exceptions, four factors could qualify your case as a wrongful death. Your case should have at least one of these factors for consideration. 

Qualifying factors for wrongful death lawsuits include:

  1. Negligence: An act of carelessness that causes death
  2. Medical malpractice: A form of negligence that is specific to doctors and healthcare workers
  3. Breach of duty: When there is proof that someone had a duty to uphold regarding the deceased that they didn’t attend to
  4. Damages: This relates to things lost or trauma experienced as a result of the death of a loved one (note – damages alone are not enough to bring suit unless they’re accompanied by another factor such as negligence or breach of duty/care)

How to file a wrongful death lawsuit

The timeline of these cases can vary depending on the cooperation of the parties involved. Timeframe aside, the steps below explain the flow of a typical wrongful death lawsuit. 

The typical process of a wrongful death case:

  • First, each party must provide the opposing side with documents and statements related to the case throughout the discovery process. 
  • Next, witnesses are called to establish the facts and circumstances of the wrongful death litigation and calculate the damages brought on by the incident. 
  • Moving forward, they must determine whether the dispute can be resolved without hearings in court, and both parties may first participate in a mediation conference to avoid trial. Attorneys will schedule a trial if parties do not want to mediate or settle. 
  • Lastly, a decision will be made. Either party can likely challenge the decision thereafter to a higher court.

The importance of working with a legal professional 

After the loss of a loved one, there are so many things to take care of and organize. Not to mention the emotional toll this event has taken on you, fellow family members, and friends. Having an advocate to guide you through all the legal hurdles can take some of the burden off your shoulders. Attorneys are there to help those impacted by the case, and your lost loved one(s), receive the justice they deserve. 

Connect with Carlisle + Byers  

We know the last thing you want to deal with during a difficult time is going to court. At Carlisle + Byers, we have years of experience working in personal injury and workers’ compensation to offer you the legal advice and support you need. If you’re interested in learning more, click to schedule a free consultation or use the contact page to send your inquiries.