Everyone understands the grief and pain of losing a loved one. When a loved one’s death is caused by another party’s carelessness, the grief and pain can be even more devastating. If you have lost a loved one under such circumstances, you may wish to speak with a personal injury lawyer about pursuing a wrongful death claim.
- What is a wrongful death claim?
- Compensation that can be claimed
- Why a personal injury attorney is important
What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim arises when the death of a loved one is caused by someone else’s wrongful conduct. Some examples include:
- Car accidents. If a loved one is killed in a car accident where the other driver was intoxicated, there may be a wrongful death claim.
- Trucking accidents. When someone you love is killed because a truck driver was too tired to drive safely, or was driving a poorly maintained vehicle, or was driving intoxicated, you may have a wrongful death claim.
- Prescription drugs. When a pharmacist fills a prescription and the wrongly supplied drug causes death, there may be reason to consider a wrongful death suit.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Under Maine law, 18-A M.R.S.A. §2-804, actions for wrongful death must be filed by the personal representative of the estate of the deceased. The wrongful death statute defines the beneficiaries of the recovery, which may include children, family members who were dependent upon the person, spouses and, in some cases, parents. The personal representative will distribute the settlement or verdict in a wrongful death claim according to Maine law.
A survival claim differs from a wrongful death claim. A survival claim arises when death is not immediate. A survival claim must also be filed by the personal representative of the estate of the deceased. A survival claim pursues damages on behalf of the estate that the deceased could have recovered up to the time of death.
What compensation can be claimed?
When you meet with a wrongful death lawyer, he or she will explain that wrongful death damages include pecuniary and nonpecuniary damages The difference between pecuniary and nonpecuniary damages is significant because Maine law caps nonpecuniary damages.
Damages can include:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical expenses for the decedent
- Damage to property
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering of decedent
- Loss of society, comfort, and companionship
Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death claim?
Like most states, Maine has a statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. Such claims must be filed not later than two years after the date of death. Untimely claims may be thrown out of court.
Why a personal injury attorney is important
Financial compensation cannot make up for the loss of a loved one. However, a wrongful death settlement or verdict may help financially after the death of a loved one. An attorney who understands the challenges in proving a wrongful death claim and who will work with you to achieve a successful result can make a big difference during a difficult time.
At The Law Offices of Fales & Fales, P.A, we have years of experience helping those who have lost loved ones due to someone else’s actions. Below is a review from one of our previous clients:
“I was referred to Fales and Fales by a close friend and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the service they provide. I retained Tony Ferguson during a very difficult time and sensitive situation. Tony and the rest of the office really went above and beyond to provide peace of mind during the chaos and confusion of my case. Tony leveled with me on best and worst case scenarios while outling the process ahead of us. Tony’s work really exemplifies his experience. Not only was Tony thorough on his end, he kept me well informed on the progression of my case through telephone and written correspondence. I was able miss less work with Tony taking care of court appearances and he was willing to work with me on rates as well. I would go back to Fales and Fales in the future if I required legal help again. I will certainly be recommending the office and especially Tony Ferguson to others in need.”
– Brittany S.
If you have lost a loved one because someone else behaved in a negligent manner, contact a personal injury lawyer at (888) 526-9408.
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