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What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

4469868_s-300x194.jpgThe death of a loved one is always difficult. But when that death occurs prematurely as a result of someone's negligence, there may be a number of other issues involved - such as confusion and anger. If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be wondering: Can the negligent party be held responsible? What legal rights do I have? And what should I do now? When a death is caused by negligence, the term "wrongful death" is often used. Basically, wrongful death is a legal term used to describe the type of legal action that may be pursued by the legal representatives of the decedent. A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury lawsuit and requires that the plaintiff prove the following:

  • The plaintiff's loved one died;
  • The death was caused by the defendant's negligence;
  • The plaintiff suffered a loss as a result of the death, and;
  • The plaintiff has a legal right to recover as a surviving family member or other person specifically named in the applicable wrongful death statute.

Once liability is assessed against the defendant, the court will then consider the issue of damages to be paid to the plaintiff. Wrongful death damages may include compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses incurred prior to death
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of future income and benefits
  • Loss of future inheritance
  • Loss of parental guidance
  • Loss of spousal companionship
  • Mental pain and suffering of loved ones
  • Pain and suffering of decedent prior to death
  • Punitive damages

In considering the appropriate amount of wrongful death compensation, the court will consider a number of factors, including:

  • Decedent's past income history
  • Decedent's potential income had he or she lived
  • Decedent's health status prior to death
  • Decedent's life expectancy
  • Decedent's contribution to the household

Wrongful death lawsuits can involve any type of fatal accident, but they often involve trucking accidents, auto accidents, medical errors, construction accidents, defective products, and other personal injury accidents. The accident and injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are dedicated to helping clients in and around Chicago deal with the aftermath of a personal injury accident, including personal injury accidents that result in a premature death. We are committed to protecting the rights of personal injury victims and their families, and helping clients obtain maximum financial recovery. If lost a loved one in a personal injury accident or as a result of medical malpractice, contact Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about a possible wrongful death lawsuit.   Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.

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