The death of a family member can be difficult to accept when it was caused by someone else’s negligence. Fortunately, survivors may have recourse to hold careless parties responsible for the loss of their loved ones. An injury attorney at Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil can help surviving family members of accident victims assert their right to compensation. Our New Hampshire wrongful death lawyers understand how much this process means to bereaved families and will work vigorously to pursue a successful outcome. We can provide compassionate, individualized representation to people throughout New Hampshire, including Belknap, Grafton, Carroll, and Merrimack Counties.Assert Your Rights through a Wrongful Death Action
A wrongful death claim is essentially a personal injury case in which the victim has ultimately died from injuries caused by the negligent or illegal actions of another person or entity. This type of action may arise after a devastating car, motorcycle, or truck accident, or a fatal slip and fall, among other examples. It may be based on various theories of liability, the most common of which is negligence. To succeed in a wrongful death claim, therefore, the plaintiff must establish all of the elements of the underlying theory of liability. For example, a wrongful death claim based on negligence would require proof of a duty owed by the defendant to the victim, a breach of that duty, actual and proximate causation, and damages.
If the liability of the defendant can be established, the court or jury will determine the appropriate damages award. Damages to the estate may consist of medical expenses, the mental and physical pain suffered by the victim before death, loss of earning capacity, funeral costs and other reasonable expenses, and the loss of enjoyment of life of the victim. Proof of damages may require expert testimony for some forms of compensation, such as those based on the life expectancy of the victim.
In addition, the surviving spouse and minor children of the victim may be awarded damages for the loss of the comfort and companionship of their loved one. Even if the actions of the victim or plaintiff are found to have partially or totally caused the death, an award of damages may still be available, proportionately reduced by the fault attributed to him or her. Certain damages may be subject to other time limits, and, therefore, contacting an attorney promptly is advisable.
In New Hampshire, wrongful death actions may be brought by anyone with a legal interest in the decedent’s estate as an administrator, and they are not limited to surviving relatives or the estate. The action usually must be brought within three years after the decedent’s death, or it may be barred by the statute of limitations.Consult a Knowledgeable Wrongful Death Lawyer in New Hampshire
Seeking legal guidance after a fatal accident can be important in determining whether to bring suit. Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil is an established personal injury law firm that has provided legal services since 1914. Our New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys are recognized as skilled practitioners with substantial trial experience and tenacious client dedication. From our office in Laconia, we can represent families throughout New Hampshire, including Belknap, Grafton, Carroll, and Merrimack Counties, among other areas. Call Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil at (603) 524-4380 or contact us online for a consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney or advice after any other type of accident.