Your loved one may have died in a car accident caused by a drunk or texting motorist. A faulty vehicle part may have caused it. Your loved one may have perished from unsafe working circumstances, a thoughtless hospital or rest home employee who gave them the wrong medications, or a preventable fall.
Any time someone dies due to someone else’s negligence, your grief is heightened. You mourn their company, support, and a bright future with your loved one, but you also realize the death wasn’t necessary. Without another person’s carelessness, your loved one may still be alive.
You are not alone if you are debating whether to pursue a wrongful death claim. Many have struggled with this tough choice. Making an informed choice is very crucial. Each circumstance is unique, thus we cannot advise you. However, we can illuminate some common wrongful death claim problems to help you make the right option.
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I was not married to the deceased. Can I still file a claim?
Many assume only surviving spouses can file a wrongful death claim, but this isn’t always the case. Children, stepchildren (if financially dependent), parents, and even life partners can also file. Eligibility varies by jurisdiction and circumstances, so consulting a wrongful death lawyer is vital.
Money can’t bring my loved one back.
While money can’t replace a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit seeks to address financial losses caused by the loss. Medical and funeral expenses, future financial support, and the companionship you’ve lost are all factors considered. The lawsuit can’t change the past, but it can alleviate financial burdens and offer some closure.
Will the reward be worth all of the effort?
Filing a lawsuit can be complex and emotional, but an experienced wrongful death lawyer can ease the process. They handle legalities, evidence gathering, and negotiations. The potential reward varies based on factors like age, relationship to the deceased, income, and life expectancy.
The case is not cut-and-dry. I might not win.
Even if evidence is scarce or multiple parties share fault, you may still have a case worth pursuing. Consult a knowledgeable attorney to assess your situation and determine the strength of your claim.
I don’t want to go to court.
Most wrongful death cases settle outside of court. A skilled attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to secure a satisfactory settlement. While trial carries risks, it can yield higher rewards. Your attorney can prepare you for court proceedings, ensuring your testimony is effective.
I don’t have the money for attorney fees.
Legal fees can be a concern, but many lawyers operate on a contingency basis. This means they only receive payment if they secure compensation for you.
I have waited too long.
Act promptly—Utah’s statute of limitations requires filing within two years of death or one year if a government entity is involved. Exceptions may apply if evidence surfaces later.
When deciding whether to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, consult a Utah wrongful death lawyer. With a deep understanding of victims’ rights, they can guide you toward a path of healing and recovery.
Remember, the decision is deeply personal. Weigh the emotional toll, potential compensation, and the desire for accountability before proceeding.