A wrongful death case arises anytime someone is killed as a result of negligence. It could be in a car accident, medical malpractice, or even in a premises liability case. The defining characteristic of a wrongful death case rests in the damages. In other accidents, the negligence may cause other physical injuries and damages but in a wrongful death case, it results in death.
In a personal injury case, there must be damages as a result of the negligent conduct of a third party. The only difference between a personal injury case and a wrongful death case is the degree of damages.
The most common cause of a wrongful death is car accidents. More people are killed by negligent driving – including from trucks – than any other reason. Medical malpractice cases will occasionally also lead to wrongful death lawsuits. The case can become a wrongful death if the victim died instantaneously or if they died days, weeks, or even months later, as a result of injuries from that accident.
A general personal injury lawyer will be familiar with proving damages through medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In a wrongful death case, though, the damages also include the grief and sorrow of the surviving family members, as well as the loss of companionship. These are specialized types of damages that require a skilled wrongful death attorney in order to make a full recovery for the family.
It is important to work with a lawyer in Indianapolis who is experienced in handling wrongful death cases. Proving damages here can be somewhat different than in typical lawsuit. The damages recoverable in a wrongful death case include grief and sorrow, as well as loss of earning capacity. The lawyer must perform a thorough investigation to maximize the amount of recovery for the surviving family members.
A lawyer should never ask the family for money out of their pocket. They are paid a percentage of the recovery only when the case is resolved. This is known as a contingency contract. By charging a percentage of recovery, a lawyer will do everything possible to maximize the recovery for the family because it will increase the attorney’s fee as well.
While lawyers routinely counsel their clients at times of need following injuries, a wrongful death lawyer must show additional compassion to the family. They not only advise the family on their legal rights but can help counsel the family through the grieving process. Not all lawyers possess this amount of compassion to be successful; they must be able to relate to family members.
A wrongful death case, by its very nature, comes as an unexpected surprise. It is the job of a lawyer to allow the family to direct all their energies to the grieving process and handle everything else on their behalf.
Effective legal counsel must look at the family members not just as clients with a case, but as individuals who are going through a difficult time. This skill has little to do with being a good lawyer and instead requires a level of human compassion which goes beyond being a good attorney.
More than any other civil claim, one involving the sudden passing of a loved one is difficult to deal with. McCready Law is here to assist you in handling a wrongful death claim in Indianapolis. When you feel ready to take the next step, schedule a time to meet with us and figure out the best course of action.