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5 Steps to Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

The death of a loved one can be a devastating experience. More so if your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of someone else. The pain and anguish of the loss can be tinged with anger when considering the hardship caused by the deceased’s absence. Not only is there an emotional and physical loss, but the untimely death of a family breadwinner can lead to serious financial problems for the surviving family members. Besides the loss of income, burial costs can be expensive, however, you can seek financial compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. 

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit is filed against the person whose negligence caused the death of your family member. The aim of a wrongful death lawsuit is to garner financial recompense for the pain and sorrow the negligent person has caused and to provide the bereaved with some of the money they need to take care of their needs and replace the income that was lost through the untimely and unnecessary death of a loved one. 

Receiving Financial Compensation

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in the country where the deceased’s untimely death occurred. If the death occurred in Houston, USA, for example, one of the first steps the surviving family members should take is to consult with a Houston wrongful death lawyer. An experienced lawyer can provide valuable guidance to the family of a person who has died because of someone else’s accidental or intentional actions. A good lawyer who has worked on similar cases can help families understand the amount of money to which they are entitled and the steps necessary to obtain compensation.

Beginning The Process

There are 5 basic steps involved in filing a wrongful death lawsuit. They are:

  1. Determining Who Is Eligible To File It
  2. Figuring Out Whether It’s Possible File A Wrongful Death Claim
  3. Proving Negligence Or Intent
  4. Filing The Necessary Documents
  5. Receiving Compensation.

An experienced attorney can help the victim’s family understand and go through each of the steps required for them to collect damages from the person who is responsible for the wrongful death of their loved one. 

1. Determining Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Determining who can file a wrongful death lawsuit can be a complex process. However, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help. They know the laws governing these types of cases and can provide the victim’s family and loved ones with a list of people who can legally represent the dead person’s estate and take legal action against the person whose negligence caused the death. US State law regarding the matter is clear and a good wrongful death attorney will be able to point out which of the surviving family members are entitled, and most likely to win, a wrongful death lawsuit based on the negligence of another. 

2. Figuring Out If A Claim For Wrongful Death Is Warranted

There are specific situations in which it is possible to file and win a wrongful death claim. The general rule is that a wrongful death suit is warranted and likely to be successful if the deceased would have been able to file and win a personal injury claim had they survived. Some of the common situations that can lead to successful wrongful death lawsuits are if the victim’s death was caused by an automobile accident, medical malpractice or murder. In these instances, a family member is entitled to compensation from the party whose negligence led to the victim’s death.

3. Proving Negligence Or Intent

Before the wrongful death attorney begins the process of filing the lawsuit, they will first conduct an investigation to figure out whether or not they can prove that the person whose actions led to the deceased’s death was negligent or if they intended to cause harm to the deceased. The wrongful death attorney must compile evidence from the police report and their own investigation, analyze it thoroughly and determine whether or not they will be able to prove that the defendant’s negligence or nefarious intent led to the death of the deceased. Once they feel they have the necessary evidence, the attorney will go ahead with the wrongful death claim in court.  

4. Filing The Necessary Documents

Once the attorney determines that the surviving family member has the credible evidence necessary to pursue legal action, the wrongful death lawsuit can commence. The attorney will begin by helping the person pursuing the lawsuit to file a notice and complaint. This document must be submitted in accordance with the rules the probate court has put in place. Once the necessary documents and supporting evidence have been submitted to the probate court by the attorney, it is up to the court to rule whether the defendant was negligent or intent on taking the deceased’s life. If the court rules against the defendant, they will also determine the amount of financial compensation to which the victim’s family member is entitled.  

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