By definition, a wrongful death is the result of a wrongful act or negligence of a person, or entity, which caused a death and is filed as a civil lawsuit. A wrongful death suit is sometimes filed if a criminal action has failed to bring about a conviction.
Furthermore, there are several types of wrongful deaths:
Malpractice / Medical Investigations: These investigations often focus on wrongful death caused by medical negligence and incorrect medical treatment.
Workplace Investigations: Industrial accident investigations are motivated by deaths caused by company negligence or company mismanagement.
Products Liability Investigations: These investigations find wrongful deaths caused by badly-designed and poorly-tested consumer goods.
Accident Investigations / Criminal Investigations: These investigations uncover criminal responsibility for a wrongful death as well as for a crime.
How do you know you have a wrongful death suit?
Determining if there is a wrongful death relies on evidence uncovered and analyzed by investigators who have the tools and experience to best advise their client and/or their attorney. A private investigator can use their expertise in technology, as well as gather witness testimony or physical, forensic, and medical evidence.
Occasionally, a wrongful death is discovered by investigators involved with another type of investigation like an accident, personal injury, or homicide. The evidence collected would subsequently be turned over to the client’s attorney for filing legal claims and determining compensation.
Clients filing a wrongful death civil lawsuit are entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Although each lawsuit will be different, as well as subject to applicable state laws, the type of compensation will depend on the specific facts of the case.
Some examples of compensation include:
- The victim’s income capacity for a projected lifespan;
- Services performed by the victim that now must be performed by another person;
- Gifts that the victim would likely have bestowed upon the survivor had the decedent been alive; and
- Medical, hospital, and funeral expenses.
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering:
- The loss of the victim’s companionship, advice, love, and moral support;
- The loss of sexual relations between married spouses;
The role of a private investigator in wrongful death investigation
A wrongful death lawsuit has a statute of limitations specified by each state’s law, usually two years. If a lawsuit is not filed within the time limit, you lose your right to file a legal claim. It’s imperative to find out if you have enough proof to pursue a wrongful death claim.
A private investigator who has experience in collecting the proper evidence to prove your case will turn it over to your attorney who can quickly assess if it is worth pursuing.
When you have the necessary proof, and engage a personal injury attorney, the private investigator should then be a part of the legal team. Their findings become part of the attorney work product where opinions, theories, and strategies are protected.
Management Resources of New York has experience in all types of personal injury cases and we would be pleased to help you with your investigative needs.
Management Resources of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey, members of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence.
Bob Rahn and Kim Anklin are available for interviews or speaking engagements.Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org