When you say goodbye to your spouse as they leave for work in the morning, you would never dream that they would not return home in the evening. Tragically, people are killed in car accidents and other accidents every day.
If your spouse was the family breadwinner and was killed in a car crash, you may not only be suffering immeasurable grief, but you may also have significant concerns about how you will pay the bills following the death. Rhode Island law recognizes these challenges and permits a victim’s survivors to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if all legal requirements for such a claim are met.
What is negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit?
Negligence occurs when a person failed to meet the duty of care they had to the victim. If their negligence caused the victim to suffer damages, the injured may hold them liable. Under Rhode Island law, if the victim was killed due to an act of negligence, the victim’s family may be able to recover damages by filing a wrongful death claim. Generally, this means that if the victim would have had grounds for a lawsuit had they lived, their survivors can step into their shoes and pursue legal action. However, some of the exact types of damages may be different.
What damages can be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit?
A surviving spouse and surviving children can seek compensation for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium includes the loss of a loving relationship and enjoyment of life due to the victim’s death.
The victim’s survivors can also seek compensation for medical expenses resulting from the incident that killed the victim. The victim’s survivors can also seek compensation for the diminution of earning power incurred up until the time the victim passes away.
Losing a loved one due to the actions of another person is an emotional struggle. It can also be a financial struggle, especially if the victim was the family breadwinner. It is important to know that it may be possible to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit so you can receive the money you need to adjust to your new life moving forward from the death.