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Wrongful Death Terms and Definitions
While grieving the loss of your loved one, the last thing on your mind may be filing a lawsuit. However, sometimes filing a wrongful death claim against whomever is responsible for killing your loved one may be a financial and/or emotional necessity.
Wrongful death refers to an area of civil law that is distinct from the typical personal injury case. A death caused by another’s carelessness, recklessness or intentional wrongdoing will often serve as a basis for a legitimate wrongful death claim. Wrongful death could be the result of a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, slip and fall or other related cause. Terms you may come across during a wrongful death lawsuit may include:
- Tort — any action or inaction that harms, injures or wrongs another. Torts are used as grounds for civil lawsuits.
- Negligence — failure to exercise care that a reasonable person would exercise in like circumstances; conduct that falls below the legal standards for the protection of others against harm.
- Liable — obligated according to law or equity; legally bound to pay debts.
- Damages — an award, commonly monetary, which compensates a person for a loss or injury.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution — ADR refers to settlement processes, such as negotiation, mediation or arbitration, that help settle wrongful death claims out of court.
- Discovery —pre-trial phase during a lawsuit in which attorneys gather evidence from the opposing parties by means of depositions, interrogatories and requests for production of documents.
- Bench trial — a trial held in front of a judge and jury.
- Assumption of risk — when a person voluntarily and knowingly proceeds in the face of an obvious and known danger, he or she assumes the risk.
While a lawsuit will not bring your loved one back, that is not its purpose. The purpose of the suit is, rather, to hold those responsible for causing the death responsible and accountable for the impact their actions have had on your life the financial and/or practical human impact from losing someone who supported and loved you.
Bohn Fletcher, LLP has aggressive attorneys ready to review and pursue your wrongful death lawsuit. Let us help you through this most difficult of times.