A wrongful death lawsuit most often seeks to financially compensate a deceased person's relatives for their loss of a loved one. The courts and lawmakers have developed strict rules regarding who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and the rules differ from state to state. Generally, the person must have died as the result of another person's negligence, leaving behind surviving family members who are left with financial damages, such as the loss of future income, or loss of companionship. To determine whether you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to consult an experienced attorney in the jurisdiction where the death occurred.
At the Locks Law Firm, with offices in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, each wrongful death attorney we employ has represented many plaintiffs, and we have obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to defending the rights of our valued clients.
Wrongful Death Damages
The compensation awarded to people who sue for wrongful death generally is intended to compensate them for the financial losses associated with the death of the person. Income earned as a salary at work and money the deceased party would have earned during the remainder of his or her lifetime are commonly awarded as damages in wrongful death cases. In many jurisdictions, plaintiffs may also recover damages for loss of companionship, pain and suffering, medical, funeral, and burial expenses, as well as mental anguish.
Because the amount of compensation a person is entitled to in a wrongful death suit depends on the state and court jurisdiction where the decedent lived, the death occurred and where the suit is filed, it is crucial to consult with experienced legal counsel to learn more about your legal rights. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, a wrongful death attorney from the Locks Law Firm can help answer your questions.
Wrongful Death Burden of Proof
Wrongful death is a civil cause of action, and as such, it carries a lower burden of proof than must be established to support a guilty verdict in a criminal courtroom. In order to prevail on a civil wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff typically must prove the elements of the suit by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that the defendant is liable. The case does not have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard reserved for criminal cases. Many courts have illustrated the civil preponderance of evidence burden of proof as being a “mere additional grain of sand” on one side of a balancing scale; in other words, just enough to tip the scale one way or the other. By contrast, in criminal courts, prosecutors must convince jurors to find that a defendant is guilty of each element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which is designed to make criminal cases more difficult to prove than civil cases. Criminal cases can involve the loss of the defendant's liberty, whereas a civil case is always limited to the award of monetary damages. In most civil cases, the defendant is covered for monetary damages by his or her automobile, homeowners, general public liability or malpractice insurance.
To find out if you can file a lawsuit seeking financial damages for the loss of a loved one, contact a Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York wrongful death attorney from the Locks Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death can occur in many ways, including while the victim is working, undergoing medical care, or driving down the street. Wrongful death is most commonly the result of automobile, motorcycle or trucking accidents, medical malpractice, dangerous working conditions such as those at construction sites, and exposure to harmful chemicals or toxins, including asbestos and benzene. If a loved one has been killed due to the negligent actions of another party, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.
Comprehensive, Compassionate Representation
Our attorneys strive to handle all aspects of a wrongful death lawsuit in a professional, comprehensive, and compassionate way so that surviving relatives are free to grieve, heal, and recover from the devastating loss of a loved one, without the additional stress, complications, or distractions that can come with filing a civil lawsuit. Clients of the Locks Law Firm are assured that their lawsuit is being handled competently and with their best interests in mind.
Contact a Locks Law Firm Wrongful Death Lawyer
For more information about wrongful death lawsuits, including who may file suit, what must be proven in court to prevail, and what kinds of damages can be awarded, contact a Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York wrongful death attorney at the Locks Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation.Do I have a case? Free Case Evaluation