Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. Particularly so if your loved one’s death was easily preventable and caused by another person’s negligence, such as a fatal drunk driving crash. While family members are left to mourn a shocking loss, they must also make costly funeral preparations for the deceased. Facing an unexpected large expense can compound stress for loved ones and leave them financially burdened. When this occurs, the family of the deceased may take legal action to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party for damages. This type of claim can recoup funeral and burial expenses as well as the financial burden of losing the family’s breadwinner and other harms like the loss of companionship. Attorney David Tapalian’s expertise in personal injury law and wrongful death in Rhode Island and Massachusetts has helped hundreds of families successfully win compensation after a serious injury or death of a loved one. As an experienced RI wrongful death lawyer, he will guide, support, and fight for you and your family during these trying times and ensure that your case is handled the way it deserves.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a type of legal action that may be initiated when a wrongful act or negligence of another party resulted in somebody’s death. For example, a parent may file a wrongful death claim if they lost a child in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. In Rhode Island, according to R.I. Gen. Laws § 10-7-1, this act, neglect, or default that led to the death must be classified as a type of action that would have allowed the deceased person to file a personal injury claim for damages had they survived. The type of action that led to the death may be based on negligence, like an auto accident, medical malpractice, or an intentional harm, like a crime. The estate or certain family members (spouse, child, parent) of the deceased can file a lawsuit and potentially be awarded a monetary settlement for damages against the party legally liable for the death. The essential aspects of a wrongful death claim are: