In 2017, tennis superstar Venus Williams was sued in a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed she wasresponsible for the death of Jerome Barson, who suffered head injuries that proved to be fatal after being involved in a car crash. The lawsuit claimed Williams was the cause of his death. As a result she had to go through extensive legal hurdles. Williams isn’t the only celebrity to have been involved in cases of wrongful death. In fact, these claims are filed quite frequently based on instances of alleged negligence.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to a scenario when a person dies because of negligence or intentional actions of another individual or organization. This may be through an auto accident, medical malpractice, or another reason. The cause of death may be easily identifiable at times, making the link between death and negligence obvious. However, there are cases when this correlation is uncovered only after plenty of investigation and research, such as if the death was caused because of continued use of a particular product.
How Is A Wrongful Death Different From A PI Claim?
It won’t be inaccurate to call a wrongful death claim as a specialized form of a personal injury claim. Both cases tend to have similar root causes that led to personal harm, and require legal representation. The difference lies in the fact that while a personal injury claim is filed by the individual harmed, this isn’t possible in case of wrongful death. Since the person injured is deceased, someone else needs to file a lawsuit on their behalf.
In Arkansas, wrongful death claims may be pursued even if a criminal investigation regarding the event is already in progress. This is because a wrongful death claim is treated as a civil case. While the state issues a criminal investigation, a wrongful death claim is brought to the court by another party.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims are typically initiated by individuals related to or close to the deceased. Usually, this means family members such as their spouse, parents, children, or siblings. Other family members and relatives may also file for a wrongful death claim.
In addition to this, individuals who stood in loco parentis could also potentially cause a lawsuit to be filed. Similarly, individuals to whom the deceased was in loco parentis might be eligible to file for a wrongful death claim.
That said, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind when filing for the claim. Your attorney will need to determine that:
- The fatality was caused directly because of a breach of duty on the defendant’s part
- The surviving family members of the deceased have been faced with extensive damages because of the fatality
Lisa Douglas is a personal injury attorney based in Arkansas who helps families of deceased file for wrongful death claims. She personally reviews their case to ensure they’re compensated for the trauma and loss caused.
Contact the Law Offices of Lisa Douglas, Inc in Little Rock, Arkansas now!