Wrongful Death Suits: Dispelling Myths


When someone dies, grieving is natural. If you've suspected that a person, their job, or another party caused their untimely demise, you may also feel anger or a feeling that you need to use the legal system to hold that party responsible. A wrongful death suit is a possibility, but myths exist which could affect how successful your efforts are. Avoid believing these legal falsehoods.

Myth #1: Anyone can sue.

The first myth, believed by many, is that anyone who knows the deceased or is related to the deceased person can file a claim. This is definitely a falsehood. Very few people can actually bring these kinds of cases to court. Generally, you will have to be the spouse or longtime partner, an adult child, or otherwise the next of kin. If not, you're unlikely to have the standing to bring a wrongful death claim to court.

Myth #2: You Can Sue Everyone

You might strongly have the feeling that multiple people are responsible for what happened to your deceased relative. For instance, if they passed away in a nursing home, you might want to sue the nurses, nursing aides, and the facility. However, doing so without reason could cause your entire lawsuit to fail. You must be extremely judicious about who you decide to name as possible defendants.

However, there are indeed times when multiple parties are appropriate to file claims against. For example, after a truck collision, the trucking company and driver could be two responsible parties. This is why a wrongful death attorney is so helpful; they can select the most appropriate defendants.

Myth #3: You can always sue for so-called "pain and suffering"

Even if you are the best person to take legal action for a relative's death, it doesn't always follow that you can sue for however many dollars you want. Television shows and heavily-publicized cases have given the impression that any high dollar amount is worth asking for, but the real truth is that a judge is rarely likely to award exorbitant amounts of money for "suffering" and other amorphous reasons. You will need to work with the attorney to seek a reasonable amount of money based on bills, actual income lost, and other factors.

Your relative's death is probably affecting your family in many ways. Being able to go forward with a lawsuit for their wrongful death might be able to offer some relief. Talk with lawyers about how you might proceed.

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injuries caused by property owner's neglect

Do you rent your home? How well does the property owner maintain the property? Are there areas that are just not safe? Have those safety issues caused you, or someone you love injuries? Did you know that the property owner could be held responsible for the medical treatment from those injuries? I fell down a concrete set of stairs that came out of the back of my apartment building. I hired an attorney to help me because I had tried telling my property manager that those stairs were dangerous for several months before I fell. Thankfully, I was able to get the money that I deserved and needed to pay all of the past due medical bills that I had accumulated.

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