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Three Signs Your Loved One's Passing Warrants Legal Action


    The loss of a spouse, child, or parent is painful even when the death is expected or unavoidable. But when your relative dies without warning due to the actions of another person or party, the fallout  — emotional and financial — can be especially devastating.


    We know that money cannot replace your son’s winning smile, the familiar comfort of your mom’s voice on the phone, or the dream you and your wife shared of growing old together. But the sudden passing of a loved one can bring monetary burdens that exacerbate your already profound grief. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to recoup damages in the courtroom for your loss.


    Here are three indications that you may have a case for a lawsuit. To discuss the particular circumstances of your relative’s death and learn more about your options, call a wrongful death lawyer for a consultation.


    The Fatal Injury Was Caused by Someone Else’s Negligence

    In order to win a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be able to prove that your loved one’s death was caused by another person or entity’s negligence or wrongful action. This can occur under a variety of circumstances. Here are a few of the more common types of wrongful death cases:


    • Motor vehicle accidents. If your loved one was killed by another driver who was impaired, distracted, or otherwise negligent, you may have a case.
    • Medical malpractice cases. This category includes birth injuries, incorrect diagnosis, surgical errors, improper treatment, medication mistakes, and defective medical devices.
    • Defective products. Examples of this are dangerous baby products and toys, faulty automobile parts, and toxic or adulterated foods.
    • Nursing home abuse and neglect.
    • Workplace-related deaths. Employers have a duty to keep their employees safe. If they fail to do so and a death results, the worker’s relatives may have a claim for wrongful death.


    The Injury Was Costly and Debilitating

    A death can be surprisingly expensive for the deceased’s family. And, according to one study, more than 40% of Americans don’t have life insurance to help alleviate costs for their relatives. Expenses that people may be faced with after the unexpected passing of a family member include:


    • Funeral and burial fees
    • Medical and hospitalization bills incurred between the time of the accident and death
    • Costs of administering the estate
    • If you are a co-signer, a child’s debts.


    If your spouse, parent, or child’s death is someone else’s fault, you may sue to receive compensation for these and other expenses.


    The At-Fault Party and Their Insurance Company Are Not Offering the Compensation You Deserve

    Most people don’t have the deep pockets they’d need to pay you damages personally, so any money you receive will come from their insurance company. But insurers care more about keeping their money than they do about compensating you for your loss, and they may resist offering you a settlement that you think is fair. If this happens, you have no choice but to take them to court.


    If you are suffering due to the unexpected death of someone you love — a spouse, a parent, or a child — and you believe another person’s actions or negligence is to blame, contact a wrongful death lawyer and schedule a consultation. Our McNeely Stephenson's attorney will be able to tell you whether you have a case worth pursuing, what to expect throughout the process, and what you may get out of it.


    Your family member will never be forgotten. You will grieve all the same. But a lawsuit can bring the parties responsible for your loved one’s death to justice and help ease the financial burden that would otherwise add more stress to this difficult time.