One of my friends is a man who spent his career as a doctor at the university, helping young people start their lives and marriages with great health. His wife had gone to help their son moved back home, and their son was driving when they're involved in a tragic accident where his wife died. There's nothing that can fill that hole, and no amount of money can make things right, but it was comforting to the family when we're able to get them a check for one hundred thousand dollars during this difficult grieving period, and we were able to get him this settlement without suing his son. Whether it was a result of an auto or workplace accident, a misdiagnosed cancer death, product defect, or prescription error, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of your loved one. This is a sensitive topic, our attorneys and staff are here to discuss your rights during this difficult time. If you feel that a loved one has died due to someone else's misconduct or negligence, call us today, and we can have a free, confidential discussion about your case so we can look into what your options might be.
Welcome to the Wrongful Death webpage for Epperly & Follis, P.C. We developed this site to assist those who face the life-altering emotional and financial consequences of losing a loved one because of another's negligence or misconduct. Although we remain sensitive to our client's emotional needs during this difficult time, our priority is taking care of their future financial requirements.
At Epperly & Follis, P.C, our attorneys are familiar with the physical, emotional and financial damage that wrongful death can cause. We concentrate on catastrophic personal injury cases against major defendants such as nursing homes, hospitals, insurance companies, product manufacturers, corporations and municipalities. Our firm does not approach its cases as mere jobs, but as causes in which larger issues are at stake - causes in which our firm's lawyers invest personal dedication to see that justice is done.
Wrongful Death and Damages
In legal terms, wrongful death refers to a fatality that occurs because of the negligence or misdeeds of another person, corporation or entity. Part of the "personal injury" tort family, wrongful death holds an individual, group or corporation (defendant) accountable for causing injury to another person (plaintiff). The primary goal of a personal injury tort is to provide relief (damages) to the plaintiff and to deter the defendant from inflicting further harm to others. In a wrongful death action, consideration is given to the earnings the deceased would have provided to their family had they lived, and damages are awarded to survivors based on this monetary loss. Survivors may also receive damages for medical and funeral expenses for the victim, estate administration expenses, survivor's emotional pain and suffering, and punitive damages (intentional harm judged to be exemplary).
State laws vary as to who may pursue a wrongful death claim. Generally, it is the immediate family members (spouses, children and parents); however, some states allow grandparents, legal dependents or members of the extended family to file suit. The amount of damages awarded will depend on the plaintiff's relationship to the deceased, while the compensation for damages may include compensation for the following:
- Reimbursement for all medical expenses incurred as a result of the negligence.
- Reimbursement for the loss of any future income.
- Reimbursement for property damage, if applicable.
- Reimbursement for any future services normally provided to you by the person who has died.
- Reimbursement for any punitive damages if the negligence was found to be gross or willful.
Typically, wrongful death suits involve vehicular accidents (aviation, automobile, ATV, motorcycle, or railroad), defective products, medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability, and a number of other situations. The common element in most tort actions is negligence, which is characterized by inattention, thoughtlessness, inadvertence, and mistakes. Negligence must be proven in wrongful death cases and the Epperly & Follis, P.C law firm is skilled in helping clients prove that the four critical components of negligence exist in their claim:
- The defendant had a duty to the deceased;
- The defendant failed in that duty (breach of duty);
- That the fatality was caused by the defendant's breach of duty; and
- That the survivors are entitled to damages as a result of the loss of their loved one.
In addition to establishing negligence, the joint life expectancy of the deceased and the survivor or beneficiary must be presented (to establish the loss of future earnings) and the relationship of the survivor and deceased must also be shown. Finally, effective presentation of the non-economical or emotional loss suffered by the survivor is critical to a fair award of damages.
Experienced and Understanding Representation
If you feel that you have the basis for a wrongful death suit, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. Epperly & Follis, P.C lawyers will outline the documentation required, the decisions that must be made, and will continue to guide you through the legal process.
We know the law and victims' rights. We can help you make informed decisions, so please call Epperly & Follis, P.C today, at 1-888-703-0109 or (804) 648-6480 for your free legal consultation, or save time with our online Contact Form.