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Misconceptions about Wrongful Death Claims

Posted by Timothy J. Ryan | Mar 11, 2015 | 0 Comments


Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence or carelessness is heartbreaking. The wrongful death of a significant person in your life can leave you temporarily mortified, preventing you from thinking clearly. You certainly need time to heal, but you also need to contemplate your own future. Most people who suffer the wrongful death of a family member do not know much about compensation claims. Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers state that many victims fail to file a case due to one or more of the following misconceptions:

Seeking ‘Money' for an Accident is Unethical

Many people think that blaming someone for an accident and asking for money to make up for the loss is immoral. It is natural to think this way, especially when you are in shock or grieving. In reality, wrongful death claims are not about the money. The compensatory reward you receive helps reimburse your financial setbacks and suffering after the death of a beloved. You lost an important being in your life because of another individual or company's sloppiness, thus they must be held responsible. The purpose is to make them aware of their mistake/error and prevent them from instigating similar blunders in the future.

Wrongful Death Cases imply Criminal Charges

The liability for a wrongful death is not the same as of committing a homicide. The defendant does not incur criminal charges or face imprisonment if found guilty. Wrongful death cases are usually settled out of court like other personal injury claims. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions, which require the defendant to pay the deceased family for damages; the damages include medical expenses, funeral costs, pain/suffering value, and lost future income and companionship.

Life Insurance is sufficient Compensation

If the decedent thought ahead and invested in a life insurance policy, it is indeed fortunate for the family. The lump sum amount received from the deceased's insurance plan can solve several immediate problems. However, it shall not cover future income loss and other necessary day-to-day expenses. The presence of life insurance does not defy your right to file a wrongful death claim. You need the compensation to get on with your life with ease.

Hiring a Lawyer is Optional

Preceding your wrongful death lawsuit without a lawyer will surely harm your chances for success. Personal injury cases are complicated, as they are subject to substantial paperwork, statute of limitations, and other legal requirements. Cases can drag on for a long time and payments are delayed. Negotiating with the defendant and their insurance provider can be extremely challenging. An experienced lawyer will handle all the work for you, while you deal with your pain in peace.

Insurance companies know better

Insurance companies are only looking out for themselves, rather than their client or a claimant. They will do everything in their power to minimize the payout. They might tell you that you don't qualify or offer a meager settlement. When an elderly person dies, insurance companies place a minimal value for compensation. A professional personal injury lawyer is capable of dealing with all their antics, and ensuring that you get what you deserve.

I am not Eligible to File a Claim

You may have heard that compensation for a wrongful death is only redeemable by a person's immediate family. A living spouse, children, and parents normally fit the agenda. However, if none of the mentioned relatives reside, the next of kin can also file the claim. An unmarried partner, putative spouse, and stepchildren financially reliant on the deceased may also meet the requirements for compensation. Any dependent minor, such as an adopted child or a younger sibling living with the deceased for six months or more is eligible as well.


About the Author

Timothy J. Ryan

Personal injury attorney Timothy J. Ryan has helped California injury victims recover more than $1 Billion since 1981. Tim is on the board of governors for the Consumer Attorneys of California and received the 2020 award "10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys" for client satisfaction.


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Timothy J. Ryan & Associates

Call (714) 898-4444 or fill out our contact form to obtain a free, no-obligation consultation from personal injury attorney Timothy J. Ryan. Tim has helped California injury victims obtain more than $1 Billion in compensation since 1981. Get the help you need today.