New Hampshire Wrongful Death Attorneys
Remembering & Honoring Lost Loved Ones
Losing a loved one is twice as devastating when their death was caused by someone else’s mistakes, such as a fatal car accident. Although nothing can fill the empty place in your life where your loved one used to be, financial compensation secured through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit can help you through the grieving process by allowing you to focus on yourself and not on bills.
At Upton & Hatfield, LLP, our team of New Hampshire wrongful death lawyers would be honored to help you understand your legal options after losing a loved one too soon. We are careful to combine professionalism with genuine compassion, so you never need to worry about feeling unheard while your case progresses.
On This Page:
- What Is Wrongful Death?
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
- How Much Time Do You Have?
- How Long Will My Lawsuit Take?
- How Much Can You Sue For?
- How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
- Get Help Today!
Wrongful deaths are defined in various ways depending on the legal statute being used. Although, the underlying premise of a wrongful death is that it is a death that could have been avoided were it not for someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing. If your loved one’s death can be classified as a wrongful death, then you might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against that third party involved in their passing.
New Hampshire is somewhat unique in that it allows a broad range of opportunities to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In fact, “any person interested in the estate” of the deceased individual in question is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in their name.
Examples of people who could be interested in the estate are:
- Immediate family members
- Distant relatives
- Close friends
- Business associates
Essentially, anyone who is or thinks they should be a named beneficiary to the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim in New Hampshire. For example, if you think the deceased individual would have left their car in your name had they made a will, then you might have a chance to file a claim. But that does not mean that anyone who files is necessarily eligible to receive compensation if the claim is successful. Call (603) 716-9777 and speak to our wrongful death lawyers in New Hampshire to sort it out.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New Hampshire is also unusually lenient. The state allows legal action to be taken within six years of the deceased’s death. This six-year statute of limitations begins on the day of death, not on the day of injury or illness.
As a general rule, you should not wait until the last day to file a wrongful death claim, though. Six years is a long time, and you can forget many important details along the way. Ideally, you will start your claim within a few months of your loved one’s passing, but we understand if you need a little more time than that to grieve.
Because they are often more complicated than the general personal injury claim, wrongful death lawsuits usually take anywhere from 1 to 4 years to resolve. In some cases a wrongful death settlement can be hurried along by accepting a lower settlement offer from the insurance company, rather than fighting for higher compensation.
Damages in a wrongful death claim are divided into two categories: damages owed to the deceased, and damages owed to their loved ones.
Certain damages related to what the deceased is owed are:
- Pain and suffering they experienced before passing away.
- Medical costs for their final care and hospitalization.
- Reasonable prices for their funeral and burial.
- Damages that they would have been paid had they survived and filed a personal injury claim.
The damages that are owed to the surviving loved ones are a bit different because they are not as tangible. Instead, surviving spouses and children can sue for damages related to the loss of companionship and care. New Hampshire limits these damages to $150,000, though, which many have argued is too low and arbitrary.
Can Pain and Suffering Be Recovered In a Wrongful Death Claim?
While surviving family members may not recover compensation for their own pain and suffering, you may be able to recover compensation for your deceased loved one's pain and suffering if you are able to prove that they suffered prior to their death.
When it comes to receiving the compensation for your lawsuit, there are two different ways that the settlement may be paid out:
- Lump-Sum - A lump-sum payment is when the plaintiff receives the entire settlement amount in one large payment. This type of settlement can be helpful if there are a lot of medical bills that need to be paid off on behalf of the deceased loved one.
- Structured Settlement - A structured settlement refers to when the settlement is broken down into regular payments (oftentimes monthly) that provide the surviving family with a set amount each month. This type of settlement payout plan can help provide surviving family members with a more long-term steady income to help replace the income they may have lost as a result of their loved one's death.
Going through the grieving process will be impossible if you never feel like closure has been reached after losing your loved one. Our wrongful death attorneys in New Hampshire can help you pursue justice and peace of mind by holding the negligent parties accountable for what they have done.
Let us help you make sense of your rights. Contact our firm now.
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