Washington DC Attorney for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Washington DC Wrongful Death Attorney – Wrongful death is a type of personal injury or tort action that you can bring if you lose a close relative as the result of negligence or intentional wrongdoing. The case is brought on behalf of the deceased and is meant to ensure that surviving family members are fairly compensated after a death. Wrongful death cases are important not only so people can be fairly compensated when their loved one is killed, but also to ensure that negligent individuals or companies do not escape the consequences of their actions just because the victim died.
At The Abelson Law Firm, our dedicated and experienced wrongful death attorneys aim to provide the very best in legal representation to our clients in wrongful death cases. We understand how traumatic the death of a loved one is and we approach every case and every client with understanding and compassion. We are vigorous legal advocates for you and we take care of representing your legal interests during your tough time.
About Washington DC Wrongful Death Cases
In many different situations, people owe a basic duty of care to others. For example, physicians and health care providers have a duty to provide reasonably competent medical treatment. Drivers of cars, trucks or motorcycles have a duty to be reasonably cautious so they don’t cause a crash that hurts others. Makers of products have to make sure their products are safe, and they have to warn their customers if there are some dangers or hazards inherent in using the product. Property owners have to make sure they don’t create dangerous situations for guests who come to visit or customers who come onto the property.
In all of these situations, if someone falls short of his or her duty, that person (or company) could be sued in a personal injury lawsuit. The aim of these lawsuits is to attempt to fix the things that can be corrected; to help the things that can be helped; and to try to balance what cannot be corrected. Holding the defendant responsible for his or her actions, therefore, is a way for the victim to get justice and to be fairly compensated for both economic and non-economic losses.
Unfortunately, the victim of negligence sometimes dies as a result of the carelessness. In these instances, the victim cannot sue the negligent party who was responsible. A wrongful death case, however, can instead be brought so that the wrong is corrected to the extent possible by making the responsible party pay for his or her actions. Because the defendant has to pay damages, a wrongful death claim can also act as an important deterrent to prevent wrongdoing.
Who Can Bring Wrongful Death Claims?
Not everyone can bring a wrongful death claim, of course. The person who brings the claim must have a sufficient connection to the deceased. States differ on exactly who can bring a wrongful death claim. Spouses can bring such a claim in every state.
Typically, parents of minor children can bring a wrongful death claim, and claims can also be brought on behalf of young children who lost their parents. If a deceased has no immediate family members, more distant family members, such as siblings or cousins or parents of grown children, may also be able to bring claims under certain circumstances and in certain states. Those who were depending on the deceased for financial support may also have a potential claim.
When Can You Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
There is a statute of limitations in every state for wrongful death claims, and it is important to file your claim within the time limit so you do not find yourself unable to recover compensation. Typically, the clock starts running on the statute of limitations from the time of the death; in non-fatal personal injury claims, the clock generally starts when the injury occurs.
There are, however, some exceptions to the statute of limitations, and there may be situations where the deadline for filing the claim is extended based on the specific circumstances of the case.
What Do You Have to Prove?
In order to win a wrongful death case, there are several different things you usually have to prove. These include:
- That the defendant owed the deceased a duty or that the defendant owed a duty to the public.
- That the defendant fell short and did not live up to the duty. This is referred to as a breach, and the act of falling short is considered negligence under the law.
- That the death was a direct result of the negligence.
- That the survivors who are suing in the wrongful death action were damaged because of the loss of their loved one.
A wrongful death attorney can help clients to get the evidence they need to prove all of these elements of a wrongful death claim and to make a strong case to recover the maximum in compensation.
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
If you are successful in proving all of the elements of your wrongful death claim, you could be entitled to monetary compensation from the defendant. The states differ on the types of compensation that surviving family members can receive in a wrongful death claim. In many states, however, it is customary for family members to obtain compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
Compensation may be available for:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of love, comfort and care
- Loss of household assistance, guidance or supervision
- Loss of companionship
- The pain, suffering and grief of the survivors.
When determining an appropriate amount of compensation in all of these categories, it is typically necessary to determine the estimated life expectancy of both the deceased and the survivors. Determining the earning capacity of the deceased and calculating the amount of financial contributions the deceased would have made to the surviving family members is also important and legally complex.
An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you to gather proof of the nature of you relationship with the deceased and of the extent of your financial and emotional losses so you can be fairly and fully compensated.
Our Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorney Can Help
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one because of the misconduct or negligence of another, The Abelson Law Firm, is here to help you. Our wrongful death lawyer will represent your interests with insurance companies or in court to ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to. For a free, no-obligation initial consultation, contact us online.