When your loved one passes away unexpectedly, it’s natural to have questions regarding the tragedy. You might start wondering if there was something you could have done or if there was negligence involved.
Let’s take a look at the latter. Dave’s grandmother has been admitted to the hospital after a heart attack. After the doctors look at her, they recommend putting in a pacemaker. They explain to him all the complications and the success rate of the surgery.
After the operation, the doctor reports that his grandmother is doing fine, and as soon as she regains consciousness, they will assess her discharge situation. The minimum amount of stay time they tell him is one week.
The next day, his grandmother goes into cardiac arrest, and after 20 minutes of resuscitation, they pronounce her dead. He can’t come to terms with what happened, so he asks for an autopsy. Turns out the nurse gave her the wrong injection, which caused her heart to stop beating.
If you have ever been involved in such a situation, you need to know how to handle the wrongful death claim so that it is not rejected. It’s essential to hire a professional with experience in this field, such as a wrongful death lawyer.
Let’s take a look at the common questions to ask after a wrongful death:
Q1. Who Can File the Claim?
When a loved one passes away due to negligence, the following people can make a claim:
● The victim’s spouse
● The victim’s children
● The victim’s parents
If no family member comes forward to file a claim, the policy’s executor files the claim. In some cases, the executor becomes responsible for finding the next of kin and informing them about the death and policy.
Q2. What Damages Can Be Covered by a Wrongful Death Claim?
At the moment, it might seem unfathomable to fill the gaping hole your loved one left with the money. However, you need to look ahead and deal with the financial burdens coming your way. A few of the damages that the claim will cover include:
● Medical costs
● Burial and funeral expenses
● Lost earning capacity
● Loss of support and care
● Mental anguish
● Loss of inheritance:
● Punitive damages
If your loved one died a painful death, you are entitled to compensation based on pain and suffering.
Q3. Is There a Timeframe to File the Lawsuit?
Yes. The lawsuit needs to be filed by a person related to the victim for the court to process the case. Several factors are considered, such as how much time has passed, how many people the victim left behind, the extent of the negligence, and more. A wrongful death lawyer best does this calculation.
Q4. Is the Claim Taxable?
Yes and no. It depends on what the case is about and its result. When a court awards a family a significant settlement, you need to consider the tax implications. Although the IRS doesn’t tax wrongful death claims because they are deemed compensatory, there are some cases in which the amount is taxed. For example, if the family is awarded compensatory damages and punitive damages, the amount will be taxed.
Q5. Should I Pursue the Case or Not?
Your grief might make you think there’s no point in filing a claim when you have lost your loved one but a respectable wrongful death lawyer will tell you to face the facts and take action. You might come to regret your decision later if the deceased were in debt. Moreover, if you cannot financially take care of the funeral expenses, it makes sense to file the claim.
Every case is different. Sometimes, it is straightforward, and everything is settled calmly, whereas other times, you might find yourself making regular court appearances. Keep in mind that a wrongful death case is not about seeking justice.
This is a civil case and not a criminal one. You will simply be compensated for your loss. If you want, you can file another case to punish the party responsible.
Sometimes, the proof is not concrete, which lowers your chances of winning a criminal case. This is why it is better to pursue a civil case first and then look at the situation to determine what else can be done. A criminal case will cost you more depending on how long it runs and what its outcome is.
If you lost your loved one due to negligence, get help filing your wrongful death claim with The Law Offices of John E. Mufson. To get in touch with them, call 561-272-1003.