Collaborating with survivors to plan the future
Dealing with a family member’s death is devastating in any circumstance. Families whose loved ones were taken by the wrongful actions of others deserve answers and, at a minimum, compensation for their lost loved one’s future earning potential and the loss of care and companionship. Money doesn’t bring a person back, but it can help families plan for tomorrow and give them a feeling that justice has been served to the extent our society allows. The compassionate attorneys at Gallagher, Langlas & Gallagher, P.C. aggressively pursue compensation for your wrongful death claim.
What is a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death claims are a type of personal injury lawsuit arising from a death caused by another person’s or business’s negligent, reckless or wrongful conduct. Common causes of wrongful deaths include car accidents, big rig truck crashes, nursing home abuse and faulty products. Our personal injury attorneys investigate the facts of your case to gather evidence that the death occurred as a result of another party’s negligence. We continue building a solid foundation for your wrongful death case by gathering evidence linking the defendant’s actions to the injury.
Who can file a claim?
The personal representative of your loved one’s estate can be the plaintiff in a wrongful death case. The personal representative’s title for estate purposes depends on whether the decedent left a will. If so, the executor is the personal representative. If not, the person who petitions the probate court to open an estate for your loved one is known as the administrator. Administrators and executors are types of personal representatives. Either type of personal representative can file a wrongful death claim for your loved one’s estate.
Our seasoned professionals at Gallagher, Langlas & Gallagher, P.C. assist you with the entire process, including probate court. We are a full-service personal injury law firm with more than 60 years’ experience assisting the injured and their family members in the greater Waterloo community.
How much is a wrongful death claim worth?
Damages for a wrongful death claim can include economic damages, such as medical and burial expenses, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and punitive damages. While no one can predict with absolute certainty what would have happened in your loved one’s career, courts rely on a number of factors to estimate the value of lost future income the deceased probably would have earned in a lifetime, including:
- Age and life expectancy
- Earning capacity
- Health and intelligence
- Family members’ needs and losses
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Interest on losses incurred since the date of death
We add punitive damages to the expected lifetime income when we file a claim and ask a judge or jury for a final dollar amount. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. We also seek payment for your attorney fees in the final compensation award.