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What does a Wrongful Death Lawyer do?

Deanna Baranyi
Updated Feb 28, 2024
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In the unfortunate event that someone dies because of the negligence or malpractice of another individual, the family of the deceased may want to contact a wrongful death lawyer. A wrongful death lawyer will file a lawsuit against the person, people, or corporation responsible for the victim’s death and therefore provide some justice and closure for the victim’s family. In general, a wrongful death lawsuit can arise because of the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another person, or in some cases, a corporation. There are several common causes of wrongful death including car, truck, motorcycle, bus, train, and plane accidents, drunk driving accidents, medical malpractice, defective products or product liability, construction or industrial accidents, and fires.

A wrongful death lawyer understands that drivers of all kinds of vehicles have the responsibility to use extreme caution when operating their vehicles. They must follow all the laws, and drive safely in all road conditions – rain, snow, sleet, and ice. They must be aware of all other people using the roadways, whether they are driving a vehicle or are on foot. A wrongful death lawyer will know and be able to apply the laws in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred to file a suit against the party who was at fault.

Hiring a wrongful death lawyer with plenty of experience can also be useful in the event of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice involves misdiagnosis, errors during surgery, and poor medical care. She can work to make sure the rights of the family are protected, while advising them on the best actions to end up with a positive resolution. The wrongful death lawyer will need to meet with the hospital, the staff, the insurance company, and the family to put together the facts of what happened to the deceased.

Other times, a wrongful death lawyer will work on a product liability case or a workplace accident. If a death results from the use of a particular product, she will attempt to hold the manufacturer, product designer, and distributer accountable for the product in question. Through the lawsuit, she will help the family make sure the product will meet safety guidelines and provide the proper warning labels for future product users. If a person dies while working, the lawyer must meet with co-workers, owners, managers, and other people in the industry to decide if the death was the result of the negligence, disregard for safety, or failure to follow government standards.

If the case settles or the victim’s family wins at court, the wrongful death lawyer can hand over thousands to millions of US Dollars. The lawyer will, in most cases, take a portion of the proceeds to cover her costs and the hours she worked to prepare for the case. Consequently, hiring a wrongful death lawyer can be beneficial to the case. In general, she will know the laws, the statutes of limitations, and the elements necessary to win in the courtroom. The wrongful death lawyer will also know what compensation is owed to the family – ranging from loss of companionship to loss of wages or compensation to cover the cost of the funeral.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.
Discussion Comments
By Animandel — On Jan 05, 2015

I work in the medical profession, and it seems like any time a person under the care of one of our doctors dies there is a lawyer trying to get the family of the patient to file a lawsuit for some reason or another. Medical malpractice lawyers are one of the big reasons that health care is so expensive in the United States.

By Feryll — On Jan 05, 2015

Maybe I am biased because I have a friend who is a personal injury lawyer, but I think lawyers as a whole get a bad reputation based on the actions of a small percentage of the men and women in the profession. I know there are thousands and thousands of lawyers who will do virtually anything to earn money, but there are also many lawyers who are trying to help people.

My friend who is the lawyer has worked on many cases where people have been injured because of someone else doing something they should not have done, or someone else not doing what they should have done. The victims are often left injured and unable to work. Without the help of a lawyer, many of them would go bankrupt and be unable to care for themselves financially.

By mobilian33 — On Jan 04, 2015

I have a friend whose father died of lung cancer. The company he worked for gave the family a small donation to help with the final arrangements. This was the policy of the company when a long time employee died. Most families were so thankful for the money, even though it was not a large sum, that they felt grateful to the company.

Well, a lawyer contacted my friend and told her that her father's lung cancer might be related to his job and the manufacturing plant where he worked. I don't know what the lawyer did, but he eventually got the company to pay the family a lot more money than they had offered for the funeral.

Though I don't think much of personal injury attorneys in general, in my friend's case the wrongful death lawyer turned out to be good for them.

Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
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