Wrongful death is when someone dies due to someone else’s negligence or malpractice. The deceased’s surviving family may choose to file a wrongful death claim to compensate for damages such as funeral expenses.
Filing a claim in the aftermath of a loved one’s death can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to know the myths and facts surrounding wrongful death claims to make the legal process easier.
It helps to have legal advocates on your sign for legal advice when filing your claim. But for now, here are some of the most common myths about filing a wrongful death claim.
- Anyone can file a claim. Unfortunately, if your closest friend has died because of a doctor’s negligence, you can’t file a claim against them. Only the deceased’s surviving spouse, surviving children, or other family members can file a claim against the responsible third party. Often times, the deceased’s other family members (such as their siblings) can only file a claim if the deceased has no spouse or surviving descendant.
- You can file your claim at any time. There is a statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death claim. Each state has different time limitations, but the average period of two years. In some cases, the statute may be as short as one year. There are also special rules that apply to minors. Be sure to talk to your attorney or legal team before you file.
- Those found guilty of wrongful death will go to prison. Wrongful death isn’t the same as murder. A person who’s guilty of murder was the direct cause of a person’s death. A person who’s guilty of wrongful death has caused a person to die because they were negligent or didn’t follow a specific set of rules. The former person would be sent to prison, but the latter person would be fined for damages such as unexpected funeral expenses or lost financial support.
Seek out legal help for your wrongful death claim
Wrongful death claims can be complex, especially when they involve things like product liability or reckless driving. There’s a reason why only 5% of personal injury cases go to court.
The McMahan Law Firm can give you the legal assistance you need to successfully file your claim and get the compensation you deserve. To learn more about filing for personal injury or wrongful death, contact the McMahan Firm today for a consultation.