While some Mansfield car accidents end with a few bumps and bruises, others have tragic consequences. When you lose a loved one because of the negligence of another individual, you may be able to take legal action in the form of a wrongful death suit. In many cases, the family of the deceased will file this kind of lawsuit after the close of a criminal trial against the defendant. Even if the criminal court finds the defendant not guilty of a criminal act, you can still file a wrongful death suit.
If you are considering bringing a wrongful death suit against a negligent driver, it is important to understand how such a lawsuit works. Like many other types of lawsuits, a wrongful death suit has certain requirements that must exist in order for you to have a chance for success. For more information on the basics of a wrongful death suit, read below.
In order take legal action for a wrongful death, there are specific circumstances that must be in place. First, there must be the death of a person. Second, the death must be the result of another individual's negligence or the intent to cause some kind of harm. Third, the surviving family members must suffer a financial loss because of the death. And, finally, the decedent's estate must have a personal representative to file the claim.
In general, the purpose of a wrongful death suit is to seek justice in the form of financial damages. The court refers to these as pecuniary injuries and they typically include the loss of support, services, and even the cost of medical and funeral expenses that resulted because of the accident.
When the court calculates a pecuniary loss, it considers several factors about the deceased. The court will examine the age, character and physical condition of the decedent prior to the accident. Other factors include earning potential, life expectancy and even intelligence. The court will also consider the specific circumstances of the surviving family members that will receive the award.
After the loss of a loved one due to someone else's negligent or intentionally harmful act, you might be able to seek justice in a civil court with a wrongful death lawsuit. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take so that you and your family can start down the road to recovery.