Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

    A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim for monetary compensation filed by a wrongful death attorney on behalf of the successors to the victim. A wrongful death claim is of comparatively recent origin because “common law”, the general principles of English law passed on to the United States, had no such provision. Common law did not recognize a wrongful death claim on grounds that a claim dies with a victim since there was no possible means to compensate the victim for damages. There was no provision for surviving members to claim any form of compensation till federal and state courts created the enactment, in the United States, sometime in the last century.

    The Law is Complete Now

    Many people thought this was right because common law did not extend far enough. In this regard, common law’s teeth were not sharp enough and for this reason, it had to be amended.

    A wrongful death claim generally has four parts to it which have to be proved:

    • That the conduct of the defendant was responsible in whole or part for the death
    • That the defendant was strictly liable and negligent due to which the victim died
    • That the victim has left behind a surviving spouse and children, dependents, and/or beneficiaries
    • The victim’s death has resulted in monetary damages

    A Clear Picture

    A wrongful death lawsuit might be filed by a number of persons associated with the victim by blood, relationship, and association. These include immediate family members such as the wife and children, financial dependents, life partners, putative spouses, distant family members like siblings and grandparents, and any other person or persons, even though unrelated by blood or marriage to the victim, who suffer financially. You should see the picture more clearly now on why common law did not go far enough and that to leave it so without making a change would not be ethically sound or consistent.

    A Statewide Difference

    Certain states recognize the right of parents of a deceased fetus to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In other states, this law does not apply but parents can bring a wrongful death action if the child was born alive and then died. If you need to know which law applies to your state, check with a wrongful death lawyer like Wayne Hardee.

    Slip and Fall Premise Injury

    Falls are one of the leading causes of injury-producing accidents in the U.S. They account for over a million injuries each year though some personal injury lawyers believe this statistic to be sadly underestimated. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,slip and fall accidents result in 17,000 deaths per year. Slip and fall injuries account for about 15 percent of the overall job related injuries.

    Reasons Specified

    In the legal community, slip and fall attorneys use the phrase “slip, trip, and fall” for an injury that arises because of a dangerous or hazardous situation that exists on someone else’s property, whether indoors or outdoors. There are several reasons for slip and fall accidents, some of which are:

    • Bad weather conditions such as rain, ice, or snow
    • Potholes
    • Uneven sidewalks
    • Unbalanced flooring
    • Unmarked or poorly lit pathways and stairs
    • Rippled carpeting
    • Obstructions on the walkway or floor

    Severe Cases

    Typical injuries caused by slip and fall accidents vary widely. Some victims escape lightly with only scrapes and bruises, or at worst, broken bones which heal relatively fast and need only minimal medical treatment. More severe accidents could result in a devastating personal injury in the likes of a spinal cord, brain, or burn injury. The injury might require ongoing medical care or cause permanent lifetime damage. In extreme cases the victim could succumb to serious injuries and/or the injuries could prove fatal.

    Serious Allegations

    In the rare case of death, only if one can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accident occurred was the result of negligence by the property or business owner, could this fall under thewrongful death category, a matter which might have to be settled in court.

    Make the Call

    If you or any member of your family suffers from a slip and fall injury, consult a personal injury law firm immediately to know if you are eligible to file a Slip and Fall Premises Liability Suit. Your personal injury attorney will advise whether you have a viable case to claim compensation for damages and personal injury.


    Why do drivers disregard motorcyclists?

    When an accident takes place where a motorcycle is involved, the general tendency is to blame the motorcycle rider. But the fact of the matter is that many motorcycle accidents are caused because of negligence on the part of the driver of the other vehicle in the accident. Very often drivers tend to pay little attention to motorcycles on the road and have little respect for their presence. The outcome invariably results in a horrific accident where the rider, or in many instances the passenger, are seriously injured or even killed.

    An Understanding

    While motorcycle riders should always wear helmets, protective jackets and clothing, and ride defensively; car, truck, and bus drivers should also realize that they carry a responsibility as well. The must share the road with two-wheelers, respecting their rights simultaneously.

    By the Numbers

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Nationwide statistics indicate that motorcycle fatalities in 2010 numbered 4,502 which amounted to 14 percent of all highway fatalities in the year. To be fair, in single vehicle motorcycle crashes, half the fatalities occurred because of accidents while negotiating a turn or at a curve and almost 60 percent occurred at night. Now even though there are high tech motorcycle jackets that will light up at night when they sense or feel the presence of car or street lights, motorcycle drivers and car drivers need to be mindful of their presence and vulnerability even still.

    Most at Risk

    Because a motorcycle is vulnerable and lacks a protective cover, the motorcyclist and passenger are prone to severe injuries in an accident which could result in paralysis, serious scarring, traumatic brain injury,and/or even death.

    Representing the Truth

    If a motorcyclist is involved in a collision where the other driver is at fault, he/she should immediately contact a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney to protect their rights. Invariably the other driver’s insurance company will try to find the motorcyclist at fault or claim that the injuries would have been far less had the motorcyclist been more careful. The objective is to minimize the payout as far as possible. A motorcycle injury lawyer will fight to ensure that the motorcyclist receives justice and a fair compensation if they are truly the victims here.


    Car Accidents and Personal Injury – Most Important Legal Terms to Know

    Common legal terms

    During the course of a lawsuit, you may encounter unfamiliar legal terminology.  Below is compiled list of terms to be help you understand information you may come across during your case:

    Affidavit – A formal written statement declared under oath.

    Arbitration – A non-judicial legal procedure that happens outside of the courts where parties dispute in front of a neutral party.

    Complaint – A legal document filed in court that initiates a civil lawsuit.  The complaint states the plaintiffs’ allegations against the defendant and their prayers for relief.

    Contingency Fee – Rather than an hourly or fixed fee, a contingency fee is paid to a personal injury attorney when he is successful in making a recovery on behalf of this client. The lawyer receives a percentage of the verdict or settlement amount.  If the lawyer is unsuccessful in making any recovery for the client, there is no fee charged to the client.

    Defendant – The party that a lawsuit is brought against.

    Damages - Technically, any damage caused to life and property in a car accident needs to be aptly compensated by the erring party. This also includes medical expenses, loss of wages, and intangible damages such as emotional turmoil. Punitive damages at times are also included.

    Deposition – Oral testimony taken under oath in which one party presents questions to the other party or relevant witnesses.

    Discovery – The investigation that takes place before a lawsuit goes to trial. Interrogation reports, testimonials of eye witnesses come under this category. These are essential to prove the offending party’s guilt or your innocence.

    Docket – The calendar of actions to be heard by a court in a certain period of time.

    Evidence – Information to support or prove a case.

    Expert Witness – A witness who lends their expertise in a given field to testimony in support of a party’s case.

    Evidence – Information to support or prove a case.

    Pain and sufferings – An element of non-economic damages to which the plaintiff is entitled if injuries as the result of the wrongdoings of another.

    Proximate cause – Also termed as a legal cause or cause at law, proximate cause is the main reason for the injury. Since we are talking about car accidents here, invariably the proximate cause for the injury for which the damages are to be paid is the result of an automotive accident.

    Personal injury – In personal injury claims, it is not only the bodily harm your car accident lawyer should talk about. As a result of the car accident, you and your family are undergoing extreme emotional strain and you need to become compensated for that too. It is not always about breaking even, you should receive monetary compensation that exceeds the cost of just the car damage. How about the emotional toll? How does this impact your professional career?  

    Plaintiff – The party that initiates a lawsuit against the defendant.

    Power of Attorney – A document that gives someone legal authority to act on a other person’s behalf.

    Product Liability – Product is the area of personal injury law that focuses on dangerous and defective products.  Manufacturers are held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by their defective products.

    Punitive damages – Damages awarded to punish a party who committed a wrongful act rather than to compensate an injured party for actual damages.

    Slip and Fall Injuries – A person may be entitled to compensation if he or she falls and suffers an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence.

    Statute of limitations – Whenever an automobile accident occurs, it is mandatory that you should file a report with police and proceed towards making a personal injury claim. The lawsuit needs to be filed within a specific period. The period may differ for each state. This period in legal parlance is termed the statute of limitations.

     Summary Judgment – The judge’s decision that resolves a lawsuit in favor of one of the parties as a matter of law before a full trial.

    Summons – A legal document prepared by the plaintiff and issued by a court that informs the defendant that they have been sued.

    Tort – Negligent or wrongful conduct by one person that causes an injury to another for which an action for damages be brought.

    Witness – A person who testified under oath during legal proceedings including depositions, offering for their first hand experiences or expert opinion.

    Workers’ Compensation – Compensation for an injury obtained while performing one’s job.

    Wrongful death – A wrongful death action is a type of lawsuit brought on behalf of the surviving family or beneficiaries of a person who died through the fault or negligence of another.


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