Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer
It takes only a moment for a car crash, truck wreck, or other injury accident to happen. In the blink of an eye, a driver’s carelessness or an individual’s desire to cut corners can end the life of your loved one. When this happens, you are justifiably angry, heartbroken, and looking for answers. Some of the questions you may have include, “Why did this happen to my loved one?” “Why didn’t someone act more carefully?” and “What do we do now and how can we go on?” Your Charleston wrongful death lawyers at The Joel Bieber Firm do not have all of the answers to all of these questions.
What we do know, however, is that a wrongful death lawsuit may be the way for you to secure your family’s future and hold negligent people accountable for the wrongs they committed against your loved one.
Successful Charleston Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit that seeks compensation from another, either a person or an entity, who caused your loved one’s death through acts of negligence or recklessness.
Successful wrongful death lawsuits require you to prove three factual propositions before you are eligible to obtain monetary damages:
Someone Owed Your Loved One a Duty of Care
First, you must show that a person, business, or governmental entity owed your loved one a duty to behave in a certain way. Oftentimes this is not difficult to do, as the law requires all individuals to behave in a reasonably careful manner so as not to harm others inadvertently.
In some situations, a higher duty of care applies. For example, a doctor or medical professional owes their patients a duty to provide reasonably competent care.
Similarly, a staff member at a nursing home owes a patient at the home a duty to not only keep from carelessly injuring them but also take reasonable steps to prevent other persons or situations from harming them.
The Person Breached the Duty of Care Through Negligence
Negligence means carelessness, or behavior in which a reasonably careful person would not engage. Recklessness is conduct that disregards a risk that harm will occur to another. Both types of behavior violate the duty of care and can lead to legal liability.
What is negligent or reckless will depend on the circumstances of each case. An act that is considered to be careless in one situation may not be seen the same way under different circumstances. Your Charleston wrongful death lawyer will need to evaluate the facts of your individual case to determine whether this element is met.
The Negligent or Reckless Conduct Caused Your Loved One’s Injuries
Finally, there must be a causal connection between the troublesome behavior and your loved one’s death.
A drunk driver who hits your loved one’s car, for example, is likely to have caused your loved one’s death. Similarly, a store owner who did not clean up a spill on which your loved one slipped caused or contributed to your loved one’s fall and death.
As long as the behavior contributed in a significant way to your loved one’s death, a wrongful death lawsuit can often proceed.
Types of Compensation Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Once you decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit, your wrongful death lawyer will work with you to determine what compensation you might receive. There are two general categories of compensation you can seek through a wrongful death action.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Not everyone who loses someone close to them can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If a decedent was married at the time of their death, the surviving spouse will be able to bring a wrongful death claim. If there isn’t a surviving spouse, the decedent’s children can bring such a claim.
If a decedent passed and did not have any surviving spouse or children, then the decedent’s parents or next of kin can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. And if there are no surviving parents or next of kin, it will fall upon the administrator of the decedent’s estate to file and bring the wrongful death case.
West Virginia Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
You need to file a wrongful death case in Charleston within three years of the decedent’s death. If you do not do so, you may lose out on the ability to obtain any settlement or compensation at all.
There are some situations where you may have less time to file, so it is imperative that you speak quickly with an experienced Charleston wrongful death lawyer about your rights before time runs out.
Outcomes of a Wrongful Death Claim in Charleston
A wrongful death lawsuit, if successful, will result in you receiving monetary damages from the at-fault party. This compensation can help you address the decedent’s final medical expenses, burial expenses, and any pain or suffering they experienced.
You can also seek and obtain compensation for your own losses, including pain and suffering, loss of support, and loss of companionship.
Many wrongful death lawsuits will settle as opposed to resolving through a trial. While a settlement can give you monetary compensation more quickly, you should always consult with a skilled Charleston wrongful death lawyer. This can prevent a situation where the settlement you agree to is not enough to fully and fairly compensate you.
Also, you should be aware that cases of medical errors have limits, or “caps,” on the amount of certain damages you can receive.
Trust The Joel Bieber Firm with Your Wrongful Death Case
You should not trust just any Charleston law firm with something so personal and so consequential as your wrongful death case. Your Charleston wrongful death lawyer should be experienced and tenacious as well as compassionate and understanding of your needs. The Joel Bieber Firm is the firm you need for this moment.
Take advantage of our firm’s free, no-cost case consultation for new clients. Let us help you obtain the compensation you need following your loved one’s death.