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Wrongful death cases and what you need to know

If you've lost a loved one in an accident, you may be considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This kind of lawsuit is important to your family, since it can help you recover costs and financial losses. Your attorney can help you get the paperwork filed, but there are some things you need to know before you arrange your case.

A wrongful death lawsuit is when someone is killed or dies as a result of negligence or misconduct. When you lose a loved one in a wrongful-death situation, you can normally sue if you're a direct relative. That means that if you're a brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, or father, it's likely that you can make a claim. Spouses may as well.

State laws do provide the ability for these individuals to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one's company and other factors. For instance, if a working mother or father dies, a spouse could sue or a loss of consortium, for financial losses, and for the loss of a father to his or her children.

To prove a wrongful death case, you need to show that a human being was killed. Unfortunately, pets, although loved, can't be the subject of these cases. You'll also need to show that someone else was negligent and that the negligence he showed caused the death.

You also need to show that the family members who were left behind have suffered monetary injuries as a result of the loss of their loved one. Finally, a representative for the estate needs to be appointed for the legal actions to continue.

Source: FindLaw, "What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit," accessed March 22, 2016

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