If you are reading this page because you have a potential wrongful death claim — that is, because you have lost a loved one to some other person’s negligent or intentional act — I first want to say that I am very, very sorry for you, and I wish you strength for now and peace in the future. The untimely death of a loved one is a tragedy that both robs the world of a life and leaves grief, pain, and sometimes devastation among the survivors. We wish such things never happened but, unfortunately, they do.
Wrongful death is not a separate tort – a wrongful death case can arise from a car crash, a premises liability claim, an act of medical malpractice, or any other circumstance that could give rise to a personal injury claim – but rather a different type of damage that is not involved in cases where a person is injured but does not die.
When a negligent or intentional act costs a person’s life, there are actually two legal claims that result (on top of the estate’s claim for funeral and related expenses). The first is what is often called a “survival action,” and it is basically the personal injury claim the person would have had if he or she were still alive to pursue it. It allows the person’s estate to recover on the person’s behalf for any economic injury – including medical bills, lost income, and any other financial loss – and bodily injury, including any conscious pain and suffering the person may have endured after the injury. In cases where a person is killed instantaneously this claim may not be very big, as the person may not have suffered at all and will likely have received little or no medical care. But if the injured person survives long enough to be conscious of the injury or, worse, conscious of the fact that he or she is about to die, this claim can be very significant.
The second claim is the one most commonly referred to as a “wrongful death” claim, and it entitles the survivors of the deceased – the spouse and children, or the estate if there is no spouse and are no children – to recover the full value of the life that was lost. Reading this, you probably recognize that establishing the “full value” of a person’s life is a very challenging and complicated task, and that is absolutely true. Each aspect of that value needs to be established and supported by evidence, and the total calculation includes both monetary and non-monetary components. Factors in establishing the full value of a person’s life include all lost future income, but also factors like companionship in marriage, the joy of raising a family, relationships with friends, the satisfactions of both career and recreation, and the overall enjoyment of life. Establishing these factors is a challenging task, but it honors the life that was lost and ensures that the survivors receive compensation as complete as the law can accomplish.
I Have a Wrongful Death Claim: What Can I Do?
Call us. We’ll carefully review your circumstances and work with any other survivors who may be entitled to bring the claim to ensure that everything is done to establish and honor the value of the life lost, and to get you all the compensation you deserve.
Looking for a Wrongful Death Attorney?
However your loss came about, the Crosson Law Group, LLC can assist you in getting you to the best outcome. Our firm of lawyers offers compassionate and caring counsel to the survivors in cases of wrongful death. We can help you get the compensation you deserve, and we would be honored to do so. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.