If you’re unfortunate enough to have lost a near and dear family member for the negligence or careless conduct of another person, you have the right to bring a lawsuit called wrongful death action. There are many complicated provisions regarding wrongful death lawsuits and all these can be properly understood by a Stockton wrongful death attorney.
While you may think that such a case can be handled on your own in order to save money, this is far from being true. The law is too complicated and handling such complicated aspects might not be possible for you. Here are few things you should know about a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim – What is it?
The statutes offer a certain cause of action for the injury in case the wrongful act done by person A leads to the death of person B and if the decedent could have raised a personal injury lawsuit in case the death didn’t occur. Hence, there are some situations when a wrongful death action can be filed for the death of an unborn child.
A lawsuit that has been filed under this aspect includes a claim for damage due to the wrongful death of another person. The parts of such a claim are governed by the respective state’s statutory provisions. The majority of the states have specific wrongful death laws but the provisions are different from one state to another.
A wrongful death lawsuit – Who can file one?
As per the laws of most states, a wrongful death action can easily be filed by any of the heirs of the deceased who has gone through a loss due to the death. Heirs at law, who can claim for the loss include a close blood relative, a spouse, children, siblings, or parents.
In case there is one family member who files such a claim, other qualified heirs can join in either in the form of plaintiffs or interfere through action. However, irrespective of how an heir interferes or joins, the action is done for the benefit of all heirs who went through the loss.
Apportionment of damages caused by wrongful death
The costs of dealing with the court and the plaintiff’s attorney fees are usually deducted from the recovery charges. After this, the judge will conduct a hearing to apportion the total amount of damage caused to the heirs of the decedent. The heirs with an interest will obtain a hearing notice.
The total recovery amount is allocated by the judge among the heirs in equal shares, based on the loss sustained by each of them. Each and every heir who went through a loss got a share of the compensation even though they didn’t interfere in the case.
Therefore, if you have recently lost someone in your family due to the careless behavior of someone else, you should try to know more about filing a wrongful death claim. Seek the help of a lawyer who can assist you in navigating the case.