Each year, thousands of individuals die needlessly as a result of the wrongful acts or omissions of others. Whether it is an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver or a refinery explosion caused by a leaking valve, the families of those killed deserve compensation for their loss.
If a person is killed because of the wrongful conduct of another person or corporation, the decedent's heirs and other beneficiaries may file a wrongful death action against those responsible for the decedent's death. Wrongful death statutes vary from state to state, but in general they define who may sue for wrongful death and what, if any, limits may be applied to an award of damages.
Wrongful death statutes were originally enacted to force companies to increase workplace safety and to compensate the families of deceased workers. A wrongful death action is separate and apart from criminal charges, and neither proceeding affects or controls the other. This means that a defendant acquitted of murder may be sued in a civil action by the victim's family for wrongful death.
An action for wrongful death may be brought for either an intentional or negligent act or omission that causes an injury that results in death. In certain cases, if the death resulted from gross negligence, the family of an individual killed on the job may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death action against the employer even if that employer had workers compensation coverage.
Who May Sue
The individuals entitled to sue for wrongful death are generally enumerated in the statute. Many statutes provide for recovery by a surviving spouse, next of kin, or children. Some states permit a surviving spouse to bring an action even in the event of a separation, but not if the surviving spouse was guilty of desertion or failure to provide support.
If you have lost a parent, spouse, domestic partner or child to wrongful death, you may be entitled to compensation for the full range of your damages associated with your loss - from funeral expenses to decades of lost future income and benefits. Your intangible but equally painful losses of companionship, emotional support, affection, and the dreams that were taken from you should also be taken into consideration. At Sammons & Berry, P.C. we understand that the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another party is more traumatic than a natural death and we are committed to guiding you through the process of wrongful death litigation in a manner that honors the memory of your loved one and restores a measure of justice in your life.
If you, or someone you know, has been killed in an accident, please contact our office to discuss the matter in greater detail.
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SAMMONS & BERRY, P.C., represents families in wrongful death cases ACROSS THE COUNTRY. Our lawyers, paralegals, and other professionals are experienced in evaluating, investigating, negotiating and trying these difficult cases. If you believe you have lost a family member as a result of the negligent acts or omissions of another – call or email us for a FREE case evaluation. Our team of experienced attorneys will review the facts in your case and answer any questions you may have.