Distressing Wrongful Death Suits

Many people do not have a good idea of what the concept of wrongful death means. “In 25 words or less, it means a death due to the recklessness, negligence or inaction of another person/organization,” explained Arkansas super lawyer Michael G. Smith of Little Rock.

Statistically speaking, the usual cause of a wrongful death seems to be laid directly at the door of medical malpractice. However, if the statistics are broken down further, what they reveal is that the other leading causes of wrongful death are accidents in the workplace, car crashes and deaths due to defective products.

One thing to remember is that a wrongful death action is not a criminal case; it is settled in a civil court. This isn’t to say, however, that there may not be a prior criminal case as well, that was settled first. The people who are allowed to file wrongful death personal injury lawsuits are immediate family members. In most instances, the definition of immediate family member would include a spouse, children or parents. Minors need an adult guardian to act on their behalf.

The other thing the somewhat distinguishes a wrongful death suit from a criminal case is the damages being sought. Compensation in these cases is usually awarded for emotional distress, loss of income/inheritance, medical costs, funeral expenses, lost benefits and loss of companionship.

Every state has its own wrongful death statute and in general they all follow the same principle – of suing for compensation for a wrongful death; however, that is where the similarities end. Each state has it’s own unique approach to their statute and the only way you will know what your state requires to file a wrongful death lawsuit is to speak to a highly qualified attorney such as Little Rock personal injury lawyer Michael G. Smith.

Be aware that there are statutes of limitations that apply to filing wrongful death lawsuits in a timely manner. Do not wait or the deadline may be missed. This is why contacting a competent wrongful death attorney like Smith is one of the first things that should be done in the case of a wrongful death. “In many instances family members have between one and three years to file from the time of the victim’s death,” added Smith.

Once an attorney has been contacted, it is their job to prove the defendant caused the wrongful death due to their actions or inaction. This isn’t the only thing the lawyer needs to prove. S/he must also convince the court that the family is suffering and require adequate compensation for the death.

Contact Arkansas super lawyer Michael G. Smith of Little Rock if there has been a wrongful death in the family. Smith is an attorney with a reputation for being able to handle this kind of emotional upheaval with compassion and sensitivity.

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