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Losing a loved one is one of the most horrific experiences a person can go through. If that loss is due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another person, the pain and trauma can be even more difficult to bear. In such a situation, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim to hold the responsible party accountable and seek compensation for your loss.
However, many people are reluctant to pursue a wrongful death claim due to various myths and misconceptions surrounding it. Our Carrollton Wrongful Death Attorneys aim to dispel these myths and provide accurate information to help you make informed decisions.
Myth #1: Wrongful Death Claims Are Similar to Criminal Cases
One of the most common myths about wrongful death claims is that they are the same as criminal cases. While both criminal and wrongful death cases may arise from the same incident, they are different in many ways.
Criminal cases are brought by the government, and the accused is charged with a crime that is considered an offense against society as a whole. The burden of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and the defendant may face imprisonment or other criminal penalties if found guilty.
On the other hand, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought by the surviving family members of the deceased person. The burden of proof in a wrongful death claim is “preponderance of the evidence,” which means the evidence must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused the death. The defendant may be ordered to pay monetary damages to the plaintiff if found liable.
Myth #2: Only Immediate Family Members Can File A Wrongful Death Claim
Another common myth about wrongful death claims is that only immediate family members, such as spouses, children, or parents, can file a claim. In reality, the laws regarding who can file a wrongful death claim vary by state.
In some states, like Texas, only immediate family members can file a claim. While in others, extended family members, such as grandparents or siblings, may also have the right to file. Additionally, in most states, a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family members.
Because of the differing rules, it is essential to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney in the state where the death occurred to determine who has the legal right to file a claim.
Myth #3: Wrongful Death Claims Only Apply to Accidents
Another myth surrounding wrongful death claims is that they only apply to accidents, such as vehicle crashes, workplace injuries, or premise defects incidents. While many wrongful death claims do arise from accidents, they can also result from, medical malpractice, product liability, and in some instances intentional actions, such as assault or battery.
If someone’s intentional actions caused the death of your loved one, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. It is crucial to speak with an attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases to determine the best course of action.
Myth #4: Wrongful Death Claims Are Easy to Win
Wrongful death claims are often complex, and the burden of proof falls on the claimant. The claimant must show that the responsible party’s actions caused the death and that the claimant suffered damages as a result. Additionally, the responsible party may try to argue that the deceased person was partially or wholly responsible for their own death, which can complicate the case.
Thus, winning a wrongful death claim requires a thorough investigation, gathering and presenting compelling evidence, and skilled legal representation. It is essential to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney to give your case the best chance of success.
Trust The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to Guide You Through Wrongful Death Claims
If you believe you have grounds for a wrongful death claim, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in these cases. The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare has years of experience advocating for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions.
Our compassionate and skilled attorneys can guide you through the legal process, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for your loss. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options for pursuing a wrongful death claim.