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A wrongful death attorney understands that when a person is killed in an accident caused by the actions of another person, it can take both an emotional and financial toll on their family. Under the laws of the state of state, survivors of the victim killed can file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party to recover financial compensation for losses the death has caused.
For more than two decades, Rasmussen & Miner has assisted families to obtain the compensation they deserve. We understand that although no amount of money will make up for the loss of your loved one, a wrongful death settlement can ease the financial burden associated with their passing.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In the majority of states, under certain circumstances a family member may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. The caveat is that the person must have been financially or otherwise dependant on the deceased. A wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City UT locals recommend can review your case and clarify who might be eligible to file the lawsuit.
In general, a spouse and the victim’s children are the first tier of survivors who can file a claim. If the victim was not married and did not have minor children, their surviving parents can file the lawsuit if they were financially dependent on the deceased. If neither parent is still living, then the victim’s siblings may be able to file based on their damages associated with the loss. A Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer can represent them in legal proceedings.
Each state has its own nuances on who is allowed to file. A wrongful death lawyer in Salt Lake City UT from Rasmussen & Miner can evaluate your situation to determine who may be able to file a lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Damages
The first set of damages that can be pursued in a wrongful death lawsuit are those that were experienced by the victim from the moment of the accident or incident until the moment they pass away. These damages can include all medical expenses for emergency care and treatment the victim received, the pain and suffering they endured from their injuries, and funeral and burial expenses. A wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City UT families turn to can review your situation to determine what damages are applicable.
The second set of damages that can be pursued are the losses that the family have experienced because of the victim’s death. These losses can include financial, such as loss of the wages and benefits the victim would have provided for their family had they not been killed, as well as the emotional losses the victim’s death has caused. These emotional losses include mental anguish, loss of care, loss of guidance, and loss of companionship. A wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City UT loved ones of victims turn to for help can determine a dollar amount for these non-monetary types of damages.
In addition, the family member filing the suit may also seek punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish the at-fault party when their actions or behavior that caused the victim’s death were egregious or especially reckless. Punitive damages are also meant to send a message to society that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. Not every case includes punitive damages. A wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City UT residents choose in similar situations can gauge if they applicable under the circumstances.
Do I Have a Legitimate Wrongful Death Case?
When a loved one has died at the hands of someone else’s negligence, there is more to the grieving process than burying them. Instead, you want to seek justice for your loved one, and one way to do this is through a wrongful death claim. This is when a civil case is filed against the defendant(s) who is (are) responsible for your loved one’s death, whether it was intentional or accidental. A compassionate Salt Lake City, UT wrongful death lawyer can guide you through this difficult time.
Filing for a wrongful death claim is not always so clear-cut, though, and you may be wondering what the elements of a wrongful death claim are. Are there damages that you can recover? How will the defendant pay for the loss of your cherished family member? Here, you can find the answers to these questions, and determine if filing for a wrongful death claim is the right action for you to take.
What Is the First Element To Prove In a Wrongful Death Claim?
When you bring forth a wrongful death claim, one of the first things you will need to prove to a judge is that someone died. This death cannot be a naturally caused death (a decline in health or old age) and cannot be the result of the victim’s own negligence. It must be because the defendant intentionally or negligently harmed the victim. While this is the crux of your case, it is usually not the hardest to prove. A wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City, UT can assess the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one and offer guidance on how to move forward with a potential case.
Was Your Loved One’s Death Caused By Someone Else’s Negligence?
After proving your loved one’s death, you must also prove that their death was directly caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. To do this, it is imperative that you show:
- First, the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care. This is not usually specific to the victim only and means that the defendant, like anyone else, owed your loved one the duty to act responsibly and in a safe manner.
- Second, the defendant breached this duty of care. This means that the defendant did not act in a way that was responsible. If the defendant and your loved one were at an intersection and the defendant was legally required to stop at a stop sign, but instead drove through and hit your loved one, there was clearly a duty and it was breached.
- Third, you must prove that not only was there a breach of duty but that this breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death. If from the above example, your loved one died after the defendant hit his or her car because they did not stop at the stop sign, then there is a direct cause of death.
Can I Recover Damages?
Yes, if you were dependent on the victim or if you paid out-of-pocket for medical expenses or funeral expenses, you can recover damages from the defendant. You can also recover damages for a loss of love, a loss of consortium, and even a loss of guidance.
How Should I Get Started?
If your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death, do not wait any longer in bringing justice to this situation. Contact the lawyers at Rasmussen & Miner now to begin working on your wrongful death claim.
What Are the Elements of a Wrongful Death Case?
All wrongful death cases include the following:
- The death of a human being
- Negligence or misconduct from another person that caused that death
- Surviving family members who are suffering financially as a result of that death
- A personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
How Can You Prove a Wrongful Death Case?
- Prove the Defendant Owed the Decedent a Duty of Due Care
In order for the defendant to be liable for negligence, it must be proven first that they owed the victim a duty of due care. The definition of that duty varies from situation to situation, but essentially a duty of due care is the idea that the defendant had a duty to do something to either keep another person from being harmed or refrain from doing something that could harm another person. There are a few things that factor into the duty of due care: The defendant’s moral responsibility, precedent set by other cases of a similar nature, how foreseeable the harm to the victim was, how certain it is that harm actually occurred and whether or not the defendant’s acts and harm are directly connected.
- Prove the Defendant Breached That Duty
If it is determined that a duty of due care existed between the plaintiff and defendant, the plaintiff and their legal team would present evidence to prove that that duty was breached. Because this is a civil case, the plaintiff must convince the jury that their version of the facts of the care is at least 50% true. There is no “beyond a reasonable doubt” as there is in criminal cases. A Salt Lake City UT wrongful death lawyer from Rasmussen & Miner can assist you in gathering the evidence necessary to prove that there was a breach of the duty of care.
- Prove Causation Between the Breach of Duty and the Victim’s Death
Then, the plaintiff must prove that the breach of duty is what actually caused the victim’s harm and eventual death. Depending on the facts of the case, causation can be difficult to prove. Having an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Salt Lake City UT on your side gives you the best chance of proving causation.
- Prove that Damages Resulted from the Victim’s Death
Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the deceased and those who survive them have suffered damages. These damages can include medical costs associated with the victim’s injuries prior to death, loss of income, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and more.
If your loved one was killed because of another person or entity’s negligence or misconduct, you may have a wrongful death claim on your hands. Lawyers at Rasmussen & Miner are ready to assist you with your claim. Having a trusted and experienced lawyer on your side to walk you through this process can take the burden off of you and your family as you grieve for your loved one. Call Rasmussen & Miner today to speak with wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City UT clients recommend today.
Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT Help Your Family?
If you would like to speak with a compassionate and skilled wrongful death lawyer Salt Lake City UT offers from Rasmussen & Miner, call (801) 683-9944 today to set up free, no-obligation consultation.