DC Wrongful Death Attorney

The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one is an emotional burden no one should bear—certainly not alone. Such a situation can be especially traumatic when the loss was preventable—that is the incident and subsequent death happened as a result of someone else’s negligence. In these situations, the surviving loved ones are likely feeling overwhelmed and at a loss as to what to do next. A DC wrongful death lawyer can provide not only insight and guidance, but solace during such a difficult time.

That help comes in a number of ways, but perhaps most importantly by seeking justice for the loss of your loved one so that others within your community will not fall victim to the same plight. The DC injury attorneys at our firm are experienced in this role. They will help you understand how the liability laws in Washington, DC apply to your wrongful death case and help you feel comfortable as you embark on what can be a complicated legal process. Our DC wrongful death lawyers have witnessed an array of troubling stories, and they take pride in helping those in need. If you’re considering seeking justice in the form of a wrongful death claim, let us fight for you and your loved ones.

Wrongful Death Claims in DC

Wrongful death litigation may be applicable any time a person’s death is caused by another’s negligence or inaction. Obviously, when it comes to personal injury litigation, it doesn’t get any more serious than wrongful death. And while one might wish that such events never happen, wrongful deaths do occur, and in such instances, a DC wrongful death lawyer can be invaluable. Due to the fact that the main point of contact for an attorney is deceased for these types of cases, a wrongful death lawyer will conduct thorough investigations to build a case. Some studies suggest wrongful deaths as the result of medical malpractice (or preventable medical errors) are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. According to a published study by the Institute of Medicine, between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die annually as a result of preventable medical errors. That’s nearly 100,000 Americans who might have lived had someone paid better attention to the patient’s vital signs, or if a doctor had followed proper procedure, or if a hospital had proper oversight and had instituted suitable safety measures. And that isn’t counting the thousands who die as a result of car crashes or workplace incidents. Wrongful death can happen as a result of all sorts of so-called accidents—including slip and falls, public transportation incidents and motorcycle accidents. If a deadly incident is caused by a person’s or business’s negligent behavior in the District of Columbia, that person or entity may be held financially liable for the wrongful loss of life and for the damages suffered by grieving family members. 

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Rarely are two wrongful death cases exactly alike. And certainly, a good wrongful death lawyer in Washington, DC is going to treat you and your case with his utmost devotion, he will understand its unique parameters, and will know how best to seek justice. But some incidents are more common than others, and certain types of wrongful death incidents can be grouped together. The following list offers a glimpse of what some of the more common wrongful death situations are:

Wrongful Death and the Legal Process

Wrongful Death Lawyer in Washington, DCThe laws that stipulate what types of claims can be brought in the wake a wrongful death accident, and what types of damages can be claimed, are complicated. An experienced DC wrongful death lawyer is best-suited to guiding a client through the process of filing a wrongful death suit and securing the surviving family a recovery settlement to help compensate for their loss. The family, spouse, or loved one of a person who died as the result of a preventable accident may file two different types of legal actions, a “wrongful death” suit and a “survivor action.” In most cases the deceased patient’s family files both actions as one lawsuit. There are differences in the types of damages that are available in each action. The estate of a deceased patient is entitled to recover damages for the pre-death pain and suffering of the patient as well as the medical bills and other associated costs.

Wrongful Death Actions and Survivor Actions

As part of a medical malpractice wrongful death claim the family of the deceased patient would have to prove a number of points including, but not limited to:

  • A medical mistake made by the defendant caused the death of the patient;
  • The surviving family members suffered loss as a direct result of the patient’s death; and
  • The family members should be compensated for their loss by the hospital, physician or another party responsible for the medical error.

In a wrongful death action, the survivors do not sue for harm to the patient, but for the damage the survivors suffered because of the patient’s death. Damages claimed as part of a wrongful death suit may include:

  • Loss of financial support provided by the patient;
  • Loss of companionship and emotional support of the deceased;
  • Survival action damages.

In a medical malpractice survivor action, the family of the deceased patient claims that:

  • A medical error that should not have happened was the direct cause of the patient’s death;
  • This medical error inflicted pain and suffering on the patient;
  • Had the patient survived, he or she would have been able to take legal action against the responsible parties and to receive compensation for the harms and losses suffered;
  • The doctor or hospital should not be able to avoid liability for the patient’s death; and
  • The defendant should be required to pay compensation to the estate of the deceased patient.

The Loss of Chance Doctrine

The “Loss of Chance Doctrine” is another complex legal question that must be considered in wrongful death cases. One of the tenets of any form of a viable personal injury claim is that a connection must be drawn between the victim’s injuries (in this case death) and the alleged negligence or malpractice. In the case of medical malpractice, a patient is only able to sue a physician if the physician made an error that directly harmed the patient. At present, roughly two dozen states and the District of Columbia recognize the Loss of Chance Doctrine. For more information regarding this doctrine, speak to a DC wrongful death lawyer.

How a DC Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help

If a loved one has died due to negligence or malpractice on the part of another person, institution, organization, or business, you are entitled to file for compensation under wrongful death statutes and survivor action laws. The experienced and trustworthy attorneys at our firm are knowledgeable about all of the laws governing wrongful death suits in Washington, DC. They understand your grief and they understand the importance of seeking justice on the part of your loved one, to ensure that no other members of the community suffer the same devastating and profound grief and loss. Contact our DC law firm today for a no-cost case consultation to discuss the details of your case with a DC wrongful death lawyer and to learn your best options for seeking justice.

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