It’s always tragic when it happens, but many car, truck, and motorcycle accidents result in the death of the victim. When that happens, the family members of the victim may make a special kind of personal injury claim called a wrongful death claim.
To ensure you get the money you’re entitled to, you’ll need help from an experienced wrongful death lawyer. These cases can become quite complicated. The at-fault driver’s insurance company doesn’t care that your family is hurting. They don’t want to pay the claim if they don’t have to, and will do everything in their power to avoid doing so.
What is a wrongful death claim?
When you are making a wrongful death claim you are stating that your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Your lawyer must prove that the at-fault party had a duty of care to your loved one, that they failed in this duty, and that this failure led directly to the death of this individual.
Who can make a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death claims are limited to the parents, living children, spouse, interdependent partners, and siblings of the person who died. Everyone who is eligible to receive money from the claim must make their claim together as only one claim may be filed.
Certain amounts in your wrongful death claim will be set aside for specific family members. For example, a sibling can certainly get reimbursement for expenses, but will not receive a bereavement claim of any kind. Amounts in excess of economic damages or bereavement claims, such as punitive damages, will be divided equally among all claimants once all applicable legal fees have been paid.
Note that there is a 2-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims, so you will need to move quickly.
How much is my wrongful death claim worth?
A wrongful death claim consists of economic damages and bereavement damages.
Economic damages include reimbursement for expenses associated with the death of your loved one. For example, if your loved one was in the hospital prior to dying you can use this money to pay their hospital bills. You will also receive funeral expense reimbursement, travel expense reimbursement if it was necessary to travel to the funeral, grief counseling reimbursement, and reimbursement for the loss of the deceased’s income.
A loss of income claim may also include the deceased’s future income. If the deceased did not work you may be able to make claims against other services they provided to the family, such as housekeeping.
The bereavement amount is pre-set. Each living child may claim $49,000. These include blood children and adopted children but not step-children or grandchildren. Parents may claim $82,000, divided equally between both living parents. A spouse or interdependent partners may receive $82,000. Other claimants will not receive bereavement claims.
Why Merchant Law?
It would be nice to imagine that insurance companies would pay your claim just because it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. You need the experience that the lawyers at Merchant Law can bring to the table. We’ve helped hundreds of people just like you get the money they deserve for their wrongful death claim.
To schedule your free consultation, call (403) 237-7777.