My Loved One Died: Should I Sue? If So, Where Do I Start?

Wrongful death is the death of a loved one or any person because of the negligence or reckless actions/behavior of another. The person causing the death can be held liable and can have a major lawsuit brought against them under wrongful death. Most cases pertaining to this do not involve the intention of the other person to harm the victim.

Generally, wrongful death lawsuits are brought on when the victim is killed because of poor judgment or as a result of an accident because of negligent or reckless behavior by the defendant. You are entitled to a wrongful death lawsuit when you suffer the loss of a loved one. Learn more.

Why Should You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


Wrongful death lawsuits generally seek compensation for:

  • Inheritance
  • Deceased’s wages
  • Love and companionship
  • Funeral costs

It is true that no amount of compensation will help relieve the pain of losing a family member or a loved one. However, by seeking the compensation you can help ease the financial burden of your loved one’s loss.

There are several reasons for filing a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Hold the person responsible for the wrongful death accountable for their actions
  • Receive financial compensation that can ease the burden of your loss
  • Gain closure after your loved ones have passed away

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

There are several types of wrongful death lawsuits. Common ones include the following.

1. Car Accidents


Car accidents are common wrongful death cases because of the sheer number of people who drive and the number of variables in play. There are hundreds of thousands of crashes taking place on a daily basis involving pedestrians, motorists, bikers, cyclists, and other road users.

2. Medical Malpractice

Most nurses and doctors are highly skilled and good at what they do. However, at the end of the day they are still human and usually overworked. Failure to diagnose a condition or misdiagnosis is usually the most common cause for wrongful death. Errors made during treatment and while carrying out a surgery are other common causes for wrongful death in the medical field.

3. Work Accidents

High risk occupations, such as construction jobs or dangerous manual labor tend to have higher instances of fatalities at work. However, it is possible for wrongful death to occur at a desk job or even when the employer is not at the work premises. A notable example is making an employee work several 12-hour shifts that resulted in a fatal car accident due to sheer exhaustion.

4. Defective Products


The manufacturer of the product can be held liable through a wrongful lawsuit if the person died because of a defective product. Manufacturers are responsible for testing products to ensure they are safe. Defective pharmaceutical products, defective automobiles, toxic foods, and unsafe products designed for children are common examples of this type of death.

Hiring the Right Wrongful Death Lawyer

It is very important to choose the right lawyer to handle your wrongful death lawsuit. This is because the stakes are high. Lawyers can tell you exactly what to expect and how to proceed to ensure your wrongful death claim is a success. You may want to get the names of famous attorneys by contacting your local bar association. It is important to understand that a costly lawyer doesn’t always mean a stellar lawyer.

These are a few factors you should consider while choosing a wrongful death attorney:

1. Experience


As described above, there are several types of wrongful death lawsuits. You need to check lawyer experience while searching for an attorney. The lawyer should have experience similar to your case. Look for a wrongful death attorney that specializes in the case. Ask if they have worked as a licensed attorney. You should always find an attorney that has case specific experience.

2. Wins and Losses

Review your track record after determining lawyer experience. How many wrongful death lawsuits has the lawyer won in the past few years? Make sure they have experience settling out of court. You want to select someone who can win your lawsuit when trying to choose an attorney.

3. Check Attorney Standing

The next step is to check the attorney’s bar association standing. This is when you have already started narrowing down lawyers. Make sure the lawyer you want is a member. You may want to check other law associations as well at this point. Consider hiring somebody else if you cannot locate the wrongful death attorney anywhere.

4. Cost or Attorney’s Fee

You will need to consider the attorney’s fee next. Ask how much the wrongful death lawsuit will cost you before you hire them. Ask them whether they will work on a contingency basis or retainer fee. Contingency fee is when the lawyer takes a percentage of the proceeds they win through settlement.

Most personal injury lawyers function on a contingency basis. They do not receive any payment for the work unless the case is settled. Retainer fee is when the lawyers charge different rates for specific tasks. It is important that you feel comfortable with the payment structure.

5. Valid Courtroom Experience


It is vital to find an attorney that has a high level of courtroom experience. There are many cases that don’t go to trial. But, there are always a few that do. You want a wrongful death attorney that has experience with courtroom settlements and can help you win a verdict.

You don’t have to worry in this case if your case does end up going to trial. Instead, you can enjoy complete peace of mind by choosing an experienced attorney that has the right experience.

6. Office Location

Geographic office location is another important factor. You want a lawyer that has its offices in a nearby location. Working with out of town lawyers will just increase your frustration level. You need to understand that you have to work with the legal counselor. It will involve several trips to the attorney’s office. Things may get difficult if the lawyer does not have an office local to your geographic location.

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