No matter your situation, it is likely to be a unique one if you are looking up the most common questions in regards to wrongful death. Below is a list of questions and answers that people frequently ask wrongful death lawyers. Take a minute to see if your question is answered below.
1. What describes a wrongful death claim?
- A claim that is made against an individual or entity that is liable for the death of another due to the individual or entity’s negligence or criminal actions.
- Claims include car accidents, medical malpractice, illegal drug use, product mishaps, work-related incidents, and criminal offenses.
2. Who can bring a wrongful death case to action?
- The spouse, child/children, or parent(s) can file for a wrongful death claim if they legally affiliate as an heir to the deceased person.
3. What damages can I recover in a wrongful death case?
- The damages that a wrongful death lawyer can recover for you are as follows:
- Economic Damages – Damages that take into account the financial effects of the claim: medical expenses, funeral services, lost wages, and physical pains.
- Non-Economic Damages – The damage that is experienced in a non-pecuniary way such as emotional pain and other non-tangible inconveniences.
- Punitive Damages – The damages that associate with the punishment of the individual who’s actions are to be charged.
4. What is the Statute of Limitations for filing a claim?
- Those who file a wrongful death claim have up to two years before they run into time restrictions involving their case (Utah Law 78B-2-304). However, if the claim involves the government, action must be taken within one year (Utah Law 63G-7-402).
- There are other laws that involve the time frame of when a case can be presented, but a wrongful death lawyer should be able to help you manage these matters. For your own research, you can check 78B-3-106 and 78B-3-106.5 but you may not need to worry too much about it.
5. Are all state laws the same regarding wrongful death?
- No. As you may see above, the sources we use to explain specific laws come from Utah specific legislature. Nevertheless, there is no need to worry because your wrongful death lawyer at Robert J. DeBry understands both local and federal law.
6. What’s the difference between a civil and criminal case for a death?
- A civil case is one in which the negligent party liable for the wrongful death accident did not have any criminal intent in the accident, while a criminal case finds charges against the individual by the government that brings a prison sentence.
7. In a case with multiple heirs, how are damages divided?
- Depending on a few factors, wills, legal relationship, age, etc., the compensation should go to the family as a whole but results could vary. If an agreement is not made between the heirs, they can hire separate attorneys to resolve the situation.
8. Can action be taken based on a death of a child or elderly person?
- Yes. No matter the age, there are damages you may recover—the amount, however, may be much less than another based on their state of being.
9. Can I bring a wrongful death action if the deceased never held a job?
- Yes. Stay-at-home spouses are a good example of this; they may not provide an income to the family but their contributions in raising kids and managing a home are most definitely valuable enough to receive help and compensation through a wrongful death lawyer.
10. How quickly should I contact a wrongful death lawyer?
- The faster you take action, the more likely you are to provide concrete detail of the event from witnesses, police officers, and yourself as you gather all memory and supplementary information.
If you have additional questions beyond these, contact one of our wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation where they will be able to address any concerns you may still have.