HOW IS DEATH CASE HANDLED WITH DIFFERENT FAMILY MEMBERS?
Our personal injury lawyers handle wrongful death cases every year. These cases are tragic and heart-wrenching. When a family member is killed in an accident, the surviving family is scarred forever. Everyone handles grief in their own way. As lawyers, our job is to help the surviving family with their legal claims from the accident. When the death is caused by someone’s negligence, there is a “wrongful death” case. The purpose of this type of claim is to provide some financial compensation for the losses suffered by the family.
In most wrongful death cases, there is just one settlement for the whole family. The loss suffered by each family member is considered in determining the amount of the settlement. However, the settlement itself is just a single amount. This means that after the settlement, a decision must be made as to how to allocate the money among the family members.
SETTLEMENT OF WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
In most cases, the family just agrees about how they want the settlement money split up. Usually, if there is a surviving wife and children, they get most or all of the settlement. However, we have seen many unique circumstances. For example, the distribution might be different if there are adult surviving children and an elderly wife. Unfortunately, there can occasionally be cases where the family doesn’t agree on how to divide up the wrongful death settlement. In those cases, which are rare, a judge may be asked to make the deicsion. The judge will listen to testimony from the family members about their individual losses, and then the judge will make the decision.
Most of our death cases come from car and motorcycle accidents. However, our lawyers have handled cases where people are killed in many different, tragic, ways. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, call us for a free consultation. Our attorneys will explain the process to you, and help your family with the wrongful death claim.