Answers To Questions You May Have About Getting Adequate Compensation From A Wrongful Death Claim

Posted on: 7 December 2015

When you have a family member that dies as the result of the negligent behavior of someone else, chances are the irresponsible party will face criminal charges. However, seeing someone go to prison is not enough if your family is left in financial dire straits and needs to receive compensation to cover medical bills as well as pain and suffering. With the help of an attorney you can file a civil suit against the criminal. However, cases are not always straightforward, black-and-white situations.

The following guide answers questions that you may have when your pursuit of a wrongful death claim does not follow a clear and defined path to a settlement.

Can a Family Receive Compensation When a Negligent Driver in a Fatal Accident Did Not Have Insurance?

While it is illegal for car owners to drive their vehicles without insurance, about one in eight drivers is uninsured. This means that tens of thousands of people are on the road without the means to have an insurance company cover damage or injuries when they cause an accident.

Nevertheless, even if your loved one was killed in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, there are still ways to get compensation. Your attorney will conduct research to find other ways of making the irresponsible driver pay and can also include other parties that contributed to the fatal accident.

The personal assets of the negligent party can be the target of your attorney. In addition, if the uninsured driver was drunk, your lawyer can also help bolster your wrongful death claim by targeting bar owners who overserved a drunk driver.

Adults who serve minors can also be held responsible in a wrongful death lawsuit if the underage drunk driver causes the death of someone else.

What if the Deceased Was Unemployed?

When a court determines how much money your family is entitled to receive from a wrongful death claim, they take into account several factors including compensation for the amount of income your family loses as a result of the fatality.

If your family member who passed away was unemployed at the time of death, you may worry that your compensation will not be enough. If you have an experienced attorney, they can argue for receiving compensation that includes salary from possible future employment as a part of a fair and just settlement.

What if the Deceased Did Not Have a Will?

If your loved one was very young, they may not have gotten around to writing a will. However, that should not affect whether or not family members can receive money from a wrongful death claim.

You may have to go to probate court to determine how a settlement is disbursed. A judge will distribute the funds to survivors and conduct a hearing if there are disputes between family members on who gets how much from the settlement.

Is there a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims?

Each state has its own laws for wrongful death situations. Some states have explicit regulations that denote how much time can pass before you can no longer file a wrongful death claim. Other states determine the statute of limitations based on other the underlying cause of the wrongful death, such as a car accident or defective merchandise.

The statute of limitations begins on the date of the death and can be anywhere from a few months to a few years. While it is important to file a claim as soon as possible, the process can be delayed if there is a lot of background research involved and time is needed to locate and prepare witnesses.

If you fail to file a claim within the statute of limitations, you may be prohibited from ever receiving compensation for the death of your family member.

For more information go to websites of local wrongful death attorneys.