Negligent or wrongful actions, as well as total inaction in the face of a crisis on the part of another person or a manufacturer, can result in a wrongful death. Unfortunately, a wrongful death can leave loved ones behind dealing with financial catastrophe, as well as emotional devastation. In many cases, those left behind have no means of emotional or financial support, have lost their former relationship with the deceased, and could even have lost a potential inheritance, later on in life.
When a parent loses his or her life due to the negligence of another, the children left behind will never have the parental care and guidance they otherwise would have. Surviving spouses may lose the love and companionship of their husband or wife. Obviously, no amount of money can truly compensate family members for the loss of their loved one, however being awarded economic damages can ease the financial issues which can result from a death.
You and your family should not have to bear unnecessary financial burden after the death of a loved one – especially if another person’s negligence is to blame. In this situation, a wrongful death lawsuit may be necessary to help you and your family through this difficult time.
Statistics Related to Wrongful Deaths
Car accidents are the primary cause of wrongful deaths for those under the age of 35. Nearly a third of these wrongful deaths are the result of alcohol abuse, and another third relate directly to a driver who is exceeding the speed limit, although distracted driving is quickly moving up and may soon become the number one cause of car accidents.
After car accidents, medical malpractice is the next cause of wrongful deaths followed by slip and falls, workplace injuries, amusement park rides, boating accidents and swimming pool accidents. Under medical malpractice deaths, falls the nearly quarter of a million people who die as a result of adverse prescription drug reactions. Train accidents are responsible for up to a thousand wrongful deaths each year, while mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, causes another 4,000-5,000.
Motor Vehicle Wrongful Deaths
Many causes of wrongful death include driver mistakes, whether negligent or accidental, faulty automobiles or substandard parts and roadways with flawed designs. It is important to know that wrongful death claims can have a very short window of time in which to file a wrongful death suit so it’s especially important to hire an experienced Idaho personal injury attorney quickly. Should the statute of limitations expire, you and your family could be left with no recourse for recovery, facing a lifetime of financial hardships.
If a wrongful death was the result of a manufacturing defect, especially one the manufacturer knew about but turned a blind eye to, the courts may award extra compensation known as punitive damages. This monetary compensation is intended to dissuade the responsible party from ever repeating the actions or inaction which caused the wrongful death. Some common manufacturing defects which can lead to wrongful deaths include defective airbags, defective tires, roof crush during a rollover accident, defective seatbelts, seat failure or defective brakes. Other times, defective roadways which are poorly designed can be deemed to be responsible for a wrongful death.
Determination of Wrongful Death Compensation
When determining the amount of compensation the family members will receive for the wrongful death of their beloved family member, the courts will consider the decedent’s age, level of health and life expectancy as well as the total economic loss, the amount of insurance coverage available and to what extent the remaining family members relied on the deceased for financial support. In many cases compensation will also be awarded for damages which are considered to be non-economic such as the loss of companionship and love.
Damages will often include:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Hospital or medical expenses associated with you loved one’s final illness or injury
- Lost wages, including any income your loved one could reasonably have been expected to earn in the future
- The value of household services, loss of affection, moral support and guidance
In order to determine the responsible party for your loved one’s wrongful death, it is important that you contact an Idaho personal injury lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of product liability, motor vehicle regulations, traffic laws and medical issues. If you’ve lost a loved one because of a wrongful death and the negligence of another, Idaho wrongful death attorney Joe Frick can fully explain what it will take to reach a settlement which will compensate you and your family members for your suffering. Contact our offices today to schedule an initial consultation.