Wrongful Death Attorney New Hampshire
It is never easy to cope with the unexpected loss of a family member, especially when the death was caused by the negligent actions of another person. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help answer your important questions. At Teale Law we work hard to recover the compensation needed to pay for your loved ones end of life expenses and to help ease the financial burden for surviving family members. While nothing can bring back a loved one, recovering damages through a wrongful death lawsuit can help alleviate some of the stresses and financial strain that comes with the loss.
What is a wrongful death?
While wrongful death laws vary from state to state, when a person dies due to the wrongful conduct of a person or persons (or company), his or her heirs and or beneficiaries have the option of filing a wrongful death suit against those responsible for the death.
An action which leads to a wrongful death can be either intentional or unintentional, or involve strict liability (typically for ultra hazardous activities undertaken by the defendant). For example, death that occurs after a person hits someone on the head (intentional act) or death that occurs after a person accidentally crashes his or her car into another vehicle (unintentional act) may both be considered wrongful deaths.
Initially, laws relating to wrongful death were established in order to prompt people to practice safety in order to prevent injury and death, as well as to provide financial support to the families of the deceased.
The Common Causes of a Wrongful Death
There are different circumstances in which a wrongful death can occur. Some of the more common causes are:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
Being given a license to drive goes hand in hand with the obligation to practice road safety at all times. Drivers have to consider their manner of driving, as well as traffic laws, hazards and road conditions. Unfortunately, thousands upon thousands die every year due to motor vehicle accidents that are often caused by the negligence of another.
- Workplace Accidents
In order to prevent accidents, injuries and deaths in the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have set standards that employers must abide by in order to make sure their employees are safe and protected.
The most common work areas associated with wrongful deaths are mines, logging sites and construction sites. Fishermen, truck drivers, metal workers, and electricians are deemed to be some of the highest-risk occupations involving wrongful death.
- Medical Malpractice
Health care professionals work hard to provide services to their patients. However, sadly they often make significant errors while treating their patients that ultimately affect those patients and their families. Medical malpractice is becoming an increasingly common cause of wrongful death. Medical malpractice occurs in a variety of manners. Most often, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional wilfully or negligently fails to deliver the medical care needed by a patient. Often, the health care professional’s negligence causes the death of their patient.
- Product Liability
If a consumer passes away from the use of a defective or faulty product his or her heirs may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer, distributor and/or retailer of the product. Many consumer products have inherent dangers. Due to these inherent dangers, manufacturers have the responsibility to properly and adequately educate consumers regarding the safe use of the product. Many times they do not, causing or contributing to the injury or wrongful death of the consumer.
- Criminal Acts
Individuals that commit a criminal act that ultimately causes the wrongful death of another person can be sued civilly and prosecuted criminally. Wrongful death civil suits are separate and distinct from criminal prosecutions and generally work independent of one another. Under this current legal structure, a defendant may be acquitted for the death of another person in a criminal prosecution, yet held liable in a civil suit for wrongful death.
Types of Damages that Are Considered in a Wrongful Death Case
While nothing can bring back a loved one, awarding economic damages to the heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased can alleviate some of the stresses and financial strain that naturally comes with the loss.
The following is a general list of the different types of damages considered in a wrongful death suit:
- Medical Expenses and Funeral Costs – Fees for medical care and funeral services are usually very expensive, and can cause great financial and emotional hardship to the grieving family.
- Care of a Child – Historically, the wrongful death of a stay-at-home parent garnered little financial compensation. However, the courts now recognize the significant financial toll of the loss of a primary caretaker on a family. Costs are calculated based primarily on child care, housekeeping, and other domestic services that survivors must pay when their loved one is gone.
- Loss of Income and Benefits – This is the most significant type of economic damage awarded to survivors, especially when the deceased was the primary wage earner in the family. Economists are usually consulted with and brought to court to calculate the dollar amount the deceased’s future income would have been, often taking into account his or her health, life expectancy, retirement benefits, investments, and inflation..
- Punitive Damages – Punitive damages or exemplary damages are damages intended to reform or deter the defendant or negligent party from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the wrongful death. These damages help bring a sense of wholeness to grieving families.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
In New Hampshire, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the date of the death.
Please contact Teale Law today if you have lost a loved one due to the negligent conduct of another at 603-935-7425 for a Free Case Evaluation. Find out how we can support you during this difficult time. Teale Law serves clients throughout the State of New Hampshire, including the cities of Manchester, Concord, Nashua, and Portsmouth.
Charles C Teale:
For locals residing in Manchester, Concord, and Portsmouth, NH in need of an experienced personal injury attorney, feel free to contact Teale Law whose experience and expertise in personal injury law have helped many individuals to seek justice by receiving more-than-adequate compensation from their personal injury cases. You pay No Fees unless Teale wins