Any loss of a loved one is extremely upsetting, but an avoidable death caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior is an unacceptable tragedy. While there is no amount of money that can undo a wrongful death, there are legal functions in place intended to provide financial relief to the surviving family members and dependents of the deceased through a tort claim. These types of claims can get complicated, and the stress can take a significant emotional toll on a grieving family. This is why partnering with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Washington D.C. is one of the most important steps that you can take following this type of tragic loss. The team at Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers, LLP is here to help.
Contact Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers, LLP For a Free Consultation Today
We offer a free consultation to the surviving loved ones and dependents following a wrongful death so we can discuss the specifics of the circumstances and provide insight on how we can help. Taking on the tort process alone can feel like an endless uphill battle, and you deserve to be able to focus on healing after a tragedy like this without worrying about the details of a legal pursuit. During our initial consultation, we will be happy to give you a better idea of your rights and options as a plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. We will review examples of past cases similar to yours that we have successfully represented. This initial conversation is a great way to get some emotional relief from speculations about the future.
Read more about wrongful death in Washington D.C., and contact us now to schedule your free consultation.
Common Types of Wrongful Death
Vehicle accidents, including motorcycles, passenger vehicles, semi-trucks, and pedestrian or cyclist accidents with motor vehicles are extremely common causes of wrongful deaths.
When medical treatment goes wrong because the medical professional diverges from prudent and reasonable care, this can result in fatal accidents and mishaps.
Criminal behavior, like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, assault, and homicide, are all valid causes for a civil claim against the perpetrator.
Each time someone uses a product designed and distributed by a company, they have the right to expect that the company has taken the appropriate measures to provide instructions for safe use, and have ensured that the product is in safe working order. A failure to do either of these can lead to dangerous, even fatal accidents.
Calculating Damages in Wrongful Death Suits
In many ways, a wrongful death case is similar to any other tort claim in that it seeks both economic and non-economic damages. There are a few differences, though, in that much of the compensation is meant to provide financial relief for the survivors and account for the loss of financial support they could previously rely on from the deceased. Additionally, non-economic damages include the trauma and pain of the loss and the other emotional impacts of losing a loved one.
Economic damages in a wrongful death case include things like the medical bills associated with the accident, funerary expenses, and the loss of financial support. This can include income, long-term financial tools, retirement packages, 401Ks, and other assets. Non-economic damages seek to compensate for the loss of companionship and consortium that comes with the death of a partner or loved one, as well as a range of other emotional and psychological damages that are commonly associated with wrongful deaths.
Your attorney will help you make sense of all of these damages and will set out to calculate a fair amount for each line item in your claim before beginning to negotiate for a fair settlement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death in Washington D.C.
The following are a few of the many questions that we are happy to answer during our free initial consultation, as well as some general answers to give you a sense of your own situation. Keep in mind that these answers are not meant to be taken as legal advice, and are simply meant to provide you with a general sense of how your unique situation will relate to these questions and answers.
Who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in the District of Columbia?
Technically, the only individual who files a wrongful death claim is the person representing the estate of the deceased, which could be an attorney or a loved one. However, they will file on behalf of any number of family members or financial dependents, including the following:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased, both biological and adoptive
- Parents of the deceased
- Other financial dependents of the deceased
This simplified list does not go into the details of when and how each of these individuals may be eligible for compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, but we will be happy to discuss these specifics during our initial consultation.
Who can be sued for wrongful death?
Simply put, any individual or entity responsible for wrongful death may be sued for the resulting death and the associated damages. Depending on the circumstances of the death, this could be a medical practitioner, a driver, property owner, or anyone else who failed to uphold their reasonable duty of care leading to the fatal accident.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in the District of Columbia?
Under the Code of the District of Columbia § 16–2702 (Party plaintiff; statute of limitations), “an action pursuant to this chapter shall be brought by and in the name of the personal representative of the deceased person, and within 2 years after the death of the person injured.”
How can survivors file a wrongful death case?
The first step to filing a wrongful death lawsuit is to open a probate estate so that survivors may file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Then, a representative of the estate will file a lawsuit on behalf of the survivors.
Can a wrongful death lawyer help with claims against the federal government?
There are certain instances where the federal government has immunity against wrongful death lawsuits. In order to determine whether or not your own situation falls under this immunity, or if you will be able to proceed with a lawsuit, contact our firm as soon as possible. If immunity is not an issue, we will be able to help you through this process towards the compensation you deserve.