Family Law

5 Wrongful Death Myths Busted!

If a close family member dies and you believe that a person or entity is directly responsible for his death, you can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Now the problem here is that not many people are aware about what constitutes a wrongful death claim. They don’t know what they are all about, the kind of compensation one can claim, who to sue etc. Some of these people believe the many myths that go around these claims and they choose to believe the myths that suit them and ignore the others. But a wrongful death claim is a legal case and if you believe even one of the many myths going around, then your claim will fall apart.

You don’t want that to happen do you? So take a good hard look at 5 myths about these claims that we have busted in this article:

1. Myth: A wrongful death claim can be filed at anytime

Truth: There are people who are under the impression they can take their own sweet time for filing this claim. But the truth is there is specific time limit within which this case needs to be filed. This time limit is typically between 1-3 years, but in a state like North Carolina you have just two years within which to file your claim. If you don’t file a claim within the time limit as decreed by the statute of limitations, you won’t be able to recover any damages.

2. Myth: You can even make a claim if death occurs long after Injury

Nothing can be farther from the truth. If the family member has suffered an injury and dies from it after a certain period of time and we are talking many years later, you can’t file a wrongful death claim. The fact that he suffered from an injury and he didn’t immediately die from the injury means you can only file a personal injury claim. So it’s the personal injury statutes of limitations that will determine the merits and demerits of the particular case.

3. Myth: Anybody can sue for wrongful death

Truth: If you are an immediate family member like the spouse, child, adopted child, etc., you can recover damages under the wrongful death action. This remains true across all states. But in some states, even life partners and financial dependents have right of recovery. Then there are some states who allow even distant family members like brothers, sisters and grandparents to file wrongful death claims. And in some special cases, people who aren’t related by blood or marriage to the victim can file wrongful death claims if they have suffered financially from the death. Therefore the myth that just any Tom, Dick and Harry can bring a wrongful death action must be busted to bits.

4. Myth: You don’t require expert help to get an appropriate settlement amount

Truth: Some people have this blind belief in the insurance company adjuster and think that he will help them get their hands on the amount that they are entitled to. This belief sometimes costs them big, because they don’t realize that the adjuster’s job is to not just to protect their interests, but also that of the company. And the insurance company wants to get away with paying as little amount as possible to the claimant. This is why you need expert help in the form of an attorney specializing in handling wrongful death claims. If you are filing a wrongful death claim, you don’t want to be taking a wrong step and forfeit a substantial payout. This is why expert help is necessary.

5. Myth: Wrongful Death Claims only Relates to Medical Malpractice

Truth: Agreed, wrongful death caused by medical malpractice form a huge portion of the wrongful death claims filed, but these claims are not just related to medical malpractice alone. They can also include fatal car accidents or even the negligence of companies, individuals or even government agencies that leads to the death of a person.

The idea behind listing out and busting these 5 myths is to make sure that people don’t believe the wrong things while filing their claim. It’s important to get a very clear idea about the legalities of any claim that you want to file to make sure that the claim is settled appropriately.