Portsmouth Wrongful Death Lawyers
Lawsuits After Losing a Loved One
After a fatal accident takes the life of your loved one, you will be left in a dark and confusing place. Taking the time to grieve is essential to your recovery, but so might be filing a claim or lawsuit against the party that caused your loved one’s untimely passing. How do you begin the legal process of demanding compensation after something so devastating?
If you live in Portsmouth, then Upton & Hatfield, LLP and our Portsmouth wrongful death attorneys can help you make sense of this important and painful time. We take pride in being a legal that is capable of balancing professionalism and compassion. While we are working on your wrongful death case, we can handle all aspects and steps, leaving you as much time as possible to focus on yourself and your family.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
To file a wrongful death lawsuit, two things must be true: a wrongful death must have happened and there must be someone available to file a wrongful death claim. For a wrongful death to occur, a death must happen in a circumstance that was caused by negligence and reasonably could have been prevented. If a personal injury claim could have been filed had the accident not been fatal, then a wrongful death claim can be since it was. Once that is established, it is time to determine who can file the claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
In New Hampshire, parties who have a legitimate interest in the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. Under this broad rule, there could be several people who want to file a wrongful death claim, but only one can be filed. What will need to happen is that there might be multiple claimants for the single case.
Typically, claimants in a wrongful death claim will include:
Cases can become overly complicated if many people want to join the claim as a claimant or plaintiff. If you need help figuring out who should be a claimant and who shouldn’t, contact us online now.
Wrongful Death Damages
The amount of money owed to the claimants in a wrongful death claim can take several forms, such as:
- Medical costs associated with the deceased’s final medical treatments.
- Costs for a funeral, burial, and wake.
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced due to their final injury or illness.
- Income they likely would have earned in life had the fatal injury not happened.
When a spouse and/or child files the wrongful death claim, additional damages can become available. Specifically, these family members can demand compensation that pays for the loss of companionship and day-to-day care the deceased provided them. The law in New Hampshire currently limits those damages to $150,000 at most, but we can fight diligently to ensure that cap is reached.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, claimants may be able to receive their settlement in one of two ways:
- Lump Sum - This type of payout allows the surviving family to receive one payment of the total amount awarded. This payment option can be helpful when the family is facing high medical costs and financial hardship as a result of their loved one's death.
- Structured Settlement - This type of payout is when the family receives a set amount from their total settlement in reoccurring payments (typically once per month). This can be helpful because it helps to spread out the settlement over a longer period of time and ensure it lasts as long as the family needs it to. In some ways this acts as a replacement income if the chief breadwinner has died.
Your attorney can help you determine what form of payment is right for you.
File Your Claim Soon – We Can Help
New Hampshire law has an extended window for wrongful death claims. In some cases, you could have up to six years from the date of your loved one’s death to take legal action. However, you should not wait that long to do something. The sooner you act, the better the available evidence will be to prove that your claim should be closed in your favor.
Call (603) 716-9777 today and speak with our wrongful death lawyers in Portsmouth. We would be honored to talk to you about what happened and what can be done about it next to secure justice in your loved one’s name.
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