Bridgeport Wrongful Death Lawyer
A death caused by any circumstances can be quite difficult for those who loved the deceased. A death that occurred at the hands of someone else due to their negligence often comes with additional layers of pain and grief.
If your family member died under circumstances that could have been prevented or were caused by another person, speaking with a compassionate Bridgeport wrongful death lawyer could help you learn more about your legal rights. A skilled personal injury attorney could help your family achieve a sense of security following tragedy.
Wrongful Death Claims Defined
Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury claims except the plaintiff is a personal representative rather than the injured party. As such, these claims may be filed in situations where, if the deceased person had lived, they could have brought a lawsuit for the damages they incurred.
It is important for anyone considering a wrongful death claim to understand that their civil case is a separate proceeding than any criminal charges that may be filed. For instance — a drunk driver may face criminal charges for DUI and vehicular homicide, but they can also be charged in civil court for the same death. It is also important to note that guilty verdict for a criminal charge does not necessarily mean the jury will render a verdict in favor or a plaintiff in a civil case, although it can help. To learn more about overlapping charges, it may be beneficial to consult a Bridgeport wrongful death attorney.
Who Can File a Bridgeport Suit?
When someone dies in Bridgeport due to the actions of another, the law only allows certain family members legal rights. West Virginia Code §55-7-6(a) specifically details who can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a deceased party. Those who have this legal right include:
- A living spouse
- Biological children, stepchildren, and adopted children
- Any other members of the family who were dependent upon the deceased for financial support at the time of their death
- A representative of the deceased’s personal estate
A wrongful death lawyer in Bridgeport further explain who may file a claim.
Damages Available to Families
Damages are the basis for financial compensation. Most damages in a wrongful death case can be similar to those of a personal injury case, although some are quite different. Generally, plaintiffs can demand payment for all that they are missing without the deceased person such as the loss of financial support, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice.
Depending on the specifics of the case, other damages that plaintiffs may claim include:
- Medical bills incurred before but related to the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages (calculated by the amount the deceased person would have earned in their lifetime if they had lived)
- Lost or damaged property (such as in a car accident)
In addition to the damages claimed by the plaintiff in a wrongful death case, a jury may also determine that punitive damages are necessary. When a defendant has acted with extreme indifference or malice, the jury can decide to assign them punitive damages as a punishment and future deterrent for their actions.
Turn to a Bridgeport Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a loved one is always extremely difficult. You may be wondering whether you have the right to seek justice on behalf of your family member through a civil lawsuit. If so, turn to Bridgeport wrongful death lawyer a to get your questions answered. Call when you are ready.