It’s hard — if not impossible — to deal with the devastating emotional effects of losing a loved one in a fatal accident. Trying to add the complexity of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit on top of this is even more difficult. In most cases, for example, wrongful death plaintiffs will have an infinite number of questions that can only be answered by a legal professional with years of experience in the field of personal injury and wrongful death law.
Here are two questions that personal injury attorneys commonly hear regarding wrongful death lawsuits:
What if an unborn baby dies during an auto collision? Can the parents pursue a recovery from the at-fault party?
The loss of an unborn child is a terrible tragedy. The ability of the parents to pursue financial compensation for the loss of the baby, however, depends entirely on the way personal injury laws cover the topic in the state where the accident occurred. Unfortunately, in many states, the baby must be born or near birth for the state to view his or her death to be actionable.
Can I seek punitive damages in my wrongful death action?
The question of whether you can pursue punitive damages relating to the loss of your loved one depends on two factors (1) Does your state’s personal injury law allow for punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit; and, (2) Were the actions of the at-fault party severe enough to warrant an award of punitive damages? If gross negligence, unlawful behavior or a severe disregard for your loved one’s welfare led to the death, punitive damages might be warranted.
There are so many different questions regarding wrongful death lawsuits, that it’s impossible to cover them here. If you want to know more about your particular case and the viability of your potential lawsuit, our law firm is available to educate you more about your legal rights and options.