When our loved ones become seriously injured, the prospect of a full recovery keeps us hopeful. Sadly, many times the damage is irreversible, even fatal. In fact, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Losing someone suddenly can leave you and your family overwhelmed by grief, unexpected medical bills, and funeral expenses. These circumstances are especially stressful if your household relied on the deceased’s income.
While nothing can replace your loved one, you can file a claim against the at-fault party to recover financial losses. If you are considering a wrongful death case, speak to an attorney from Sand Law to find the best course of action for you.
What is Wrongful Death?
In a variety of circumstances, people and businesses owe a duty of care to others. For example, as a motorist, you’re expected to follow traffic laws. Likewise, employers must take certain measures to prevent workplace accidents. When someone fails to uphold a duty of care and the outcome is fatal, it’s considered a wrongful death. Wrongful deaths don’t always happen the day that the injury is sustained. Oftentimes, accident victims suffer from serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, back and spinal injuries, and severe burns, for months before passing away. In some cases, delayed injuries may contribute to wrongful death months after a personal injury incident.
If your loved one has passed away due to someone else’s negligence, speak with an experienced Minnesota wrongful death attorney.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Motor vehicle accidents
Different industries have to follow varying health and safety requirements, including Minnesota OSHA regulations, to protect employees. When a wrongful death happens, an experienced lawyer can help you to discover what rules and regulations were violated.
Botched surgeries, misdiagnoses, birth injuries, and misguided treatment plans are some examples of medical malpractice that can lead to a wrongful death. Depending on the circumstance, you may lodge a claim against a hospital, an individual doctor or nurse, or another provider. Your wrongful death attorney can evaluate medical records and preserve other evidence to build a wrongful death case. This will help to determine who is at fault. It can also link their negligence to the fatal injury.
Nursing home negligence
When nursing home residents don’t receive proper care and attention, they are more likely to suffer accidents like slip and falls. The elderly and other vulnerable adults are also easy targets for abusive workers. Since residents of these facilities almost always have compromised health, the at-fault party may point a finger at the pre-existing conditions. A thorough legal investigation can uncover facts to show that the facility is actually negligent.
Inadequate training, careless hiring practices, and a lack of supervision are just some of the factors that breed dangerous conditions at school and daycare facilities.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
To have a valid wrongful death claim, you have to prove that negligence or an intentional act of malice led to your loved one’s death. Additionally, you will need to demonstrate that the negligent party failed to uphold his or her duty of care, and that the death happened as a result of that failure. As a survivor, you also have to show that you’re suffering financial losses because of the death. Wrongful death attorneys are helpful when it comes to gathering and evaluating the types of evidence you need for a successful case. Your attorney may need to obtain business records, surveillance footage, and expert witness advice to support your claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Minnesota, a surviving spouse and children can file a wrongful death claim. Other immediate family members may also be eligible to file depending on the situation. Parents of the deceased can file a claim alongside a surviving spouse if there are no living children. If there are no surviving parents or children, the deceased’s siblings are able to file a wrongful death claim. If a child has passed away, a parent can file.
Damages for Wrongful Death
Before passing away, an accident victim may have accumulated bills for medical interventions like surgical procedures, diagnostic testing, and hospitalization. Any medical expenses related to the fatal injury can be included in a wrongful death claim.
Survivors can recover compensation for the income the deceased was providing. To get the best value for your claim, your attorney can factor in your loved one’s lifetime earning potential. Compensation for the loss of services is also possible. For example, if your loved one handled all of the lawn care, you may now be paying a landscaper to manage it.
A guilty party may also be charged punitive damages if a harmful act is intentional or especially negligent. For example, a drunk driver or caregiver who commits nursing home abuse may have to pay punitive damages to survivors of the deceased.
Contact a Woodbury Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, Sand Law can help. Our attorneys have secured maximum compensation for countless grieving families. We will review your claim in detail and build a strong case so that you can recover every penny possible. For a free initial consultation, contact us online, through our live chat feature, or by phone at 651-291-7263.