Wrongful Death Lawyers - Compensation Claim Settlement
A wrongful death lawyer is usually involved in claiming a settlement as a result of a fatality caused by the misconduct of another person or a company ranging from an act of negligence or carelessness to an intentional criminal act and may include:
- medical malpractice
- accidents at work
- car and plane accidents
- liability for defective premises
- swimming, boating, scuba diving, jet skiing
- sports related accidents
Wrongful death lawyers can make compensation claims, following a fatal accident, on behalf of the survivors and beneficiaries of an individual who dies as a result of any wrongful act, neglect or default and legal action can be brought against the person or other party who was to blame for causing the accident.
Entitlement to make a claim is defined by law and will be dependent on the nature and degree of the relationship with the deceased. Wrongful death compensation can include loss of care, guidance and companionship, funeral and other expenses, loss of the services of the deceased and that portion of the deceased's contribution to the family earnings and pension. Compensation can be claimed by wrongful death lawyers for pain and suffering sustained as a result of the accident and all other losses prior to death however if death was instantaneous then pain and suffering damages will be minimal.
The actual calculation of settlements in wrongful death claims can be complex particularly if the deceased was self-employed, a director of an owner managed business or a member of the professions. Our lawyers have substantial experience in dealing with fatal accident claims and may use specialist forensic accountants to assist in bringing or defending a dependency claim.
Our wrongful death lawyers are very experienced in fatal injury compensation claims and we offer expertise that is second to none. Our lawyers deal exclusively in claims involving physical injury. If you would like to talk to an experienced advocate without obligation about wrongful death or a fatal injury or a fatal accident just call the helpline or email our offices or complete and send the contact form and a lawyer who deals exclusively in personal injury claims will phone you with advice at no cost and information on how best to preserve your legal rights to compensation.
The law defines who is entitled to compensation which usually includes the spouse and dependent children of an accident victim and may include the parents of a minor child. Some states extend the claimants to grandparents, legal dependants, or members of the extended family.
Experts & Specialists
The calculation of the settlement in fatal accident claims is complex and our Toronto wrongful death lawyers have substantial experience in preparing schedules of loss however they also call upon the services of experienced forensic accountants who use their knowledge and expertise to identify the contentious issues to prepare reasoned reports to assist in bringing and substantiating a claim.
Award of Damages
This type of lawsuit is different to other types of claim as there are two constituent parts to the claim. The first is the victim's own claim. This includes compensation for the physical and emotional pain, incapacity and distress that the victim suffered. This claim also includes damages for the victim's financial losses between the date of injury and the date of his or her death, together with the funeral expenses. The second part of the claim is that brought by the dependants of the victim for the loss of financial support. Whilst the law in most States operates under similar general principles, there are subtle differences upon which it will be necessary for you to take detailed advice from your attorney. The losses or damages that can be claimed may include;
- damages for pain and suffering to the deceased
- medical and funeral expenses associated with the death
- loss of future earnings until anticipated time of retirement or death
- loss of benefits including pension and medical insurance
- loss of future prospective inheritance
- pain and suffering and mental anguish caused to the survivors
- loss of care, protection, companionship to the survivors
- punitive damages
Cases of wrongful death involve the unexpected demise of an individual due to the negligence, unlawful behavior, criminal acts or wrongdoing of another person or legal entity. Wrongful death is different from other compensation claims because the person who would have been the claimant has died and the lawsuit is usually carried out on behalf of the children or spouse of the deceased person who have lost the financial support of the deceased.
A wrongful death law suit involves a fatal injury that was caused by another person or company which affects living relatives that depended on the decedent income for support. This is usually the children of the decedent or the spouse of the decedent, although in some cases, it can involve claims on behalf of dependent parents of the decedent. The categories of potential claimants are defined by law. In certain circumstances usually involving malicious acts including the commission of a criminal offence, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the person who caused the death of another.
Dependants of the deceased may include the spouse, the dependent children (under age 18), other legal dependants, other extended family members or infirm parents of the decedent. These are the people that lose income upon the death of the individual and suffer the most because of the decedent’s death. These people have the opportunity to file a wrongful death claim in order to recover monies lost because of the death of the decedent.
The basis of wrongful death is that the death of the person results in subsequent loss of income for their family, the cost of medical care of the patient before death, funeral costs and any future costs the family may have to incur on their own as a result of the death of the individual. Wrongful death claims mainly apply to the death of individuals who have dependent children and those wives or husbands who were previously supported by the decedent.
One of the more common places to precipitate a wrongful death injury is at the workplace. Workers can fall from height, suffer fatal burns or scalds, be exposed to dangerous chemicals, be in a motor vehicle accident or be injured by machinery. In some cases, the incident is unavoidable but in most cases, the employer has failed to put in safety measures that would have prevented the injury. A negligent employer will become the defendant in the wrongful death suit however the matter will inevitably be taken up by the employer’s insurers. Safety measures that could have come into play include a safe work environment, providing proper safety training, providing adequate safety gear, keeping equipment properly maintained and minimizing extraneous dangers in the workplace.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The other major class of wrongful death injuries is that of motor vehicle accidents. In a wrongful death accident, one party has broken the law or has made a negligent traffic error that caused the death of another party. In some cases, the negligence is clear cut and a claim can be made against the other driver. In other cases, things are not so clear cut and the judge may determine that the decedent was partially negligent and apportion damages accordingly. In such cases, the claim is still made but if it is awarded, it is reduced by the percentage of negligence of the decedent. It often takes an accident reconstruction in order to determine exactly how the accident happened and who was at fault.
Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you would like to know if it is possible to claim a settlement, just call the legal helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a wrongful death lawyer will telephone you immediately with legal advice at no cost and with no further obligation.
An accidental fatality is usually a catastrophic event altering the lives of the victims families forever. We'll ensure that you get a fair deal by sending your claim to an expert wrongful death lawyer who has a track record of many years successful verdicts and settlements. Your lawyer will deal with your legal claim using a contingency fee arrangement and if you don't succeed in receiving a settlement then your lawyer won't get paid
Negligence occurs when a person's acts or omissions cause another to suffer some loss or inconvenience and has been given numerous definitions one of the most often quoted of which is as follows :-
"The failure to do something which a reasonable person, guided by ordinary considerations would do;
or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent person would not do."
In order to take court action it is necessary for a wrongful death lawyer to show that the following elements existed:-
The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the claimant. In the case of road traffic accident claims all users of vehicles whilst on the roads must exercise consideration for other road users and the duty of care will exist almost without exception. Employers do of course also owe a duty of care to employees. Healthcare professionals almost without exception owe a duty of care to their patients.
Assuming that the duty of care does exist in the particular circumstances of the incident it must also be shown that the duty of care was breached by the proposed defendant whose behavior must have fallen below a reasonably acceptable standard. This means that a conviction in the criminal court is not necessary to prove negligence.
Finally it must be proved that loss, damage or injury resulted from and is directly attributable to the breach of the duty of care. Certain losses may however be considered to remote due to them being unforeseeable.
To put these issues in a nutshell, everyone has a duty of care to his or her legal neighbors who may be defined as anyone who is likely to be affected by any actions or omissions.