There are a lot of misconceptions out there about wrongful death claims, several of which we’re clearing up today. There are things you’re legally entitled to if your spouse or close family member passes away. While there are rules you must follow when filing a wrongful death claim, you have every right to pursue compensation if the situation calls for it.
It’s easy to tell yourself that your life insurance is enough, that the death didn’t qualify, or that you can’t afford to file for it, among other reasons. We hear them so often that we decided to dedicate a blog to the topic.
We’re covering nine myths about wrongful death claims. Keep reading to learn more!
Myth 1: Life Insurance Benefits Cover Everything
Simply put, life insurance benefits do not cover everything. Since every life insurance policy differs, we can’t tell you exactly what yours will or won’t cover without seeing the document. But we can assure you that filing for wrongful death and collecting life insurance is the best way to get all the help you need after your loved one’s death.
You might think life insurance is enough to cover everything, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly that money dwindles after fully paying medical and funeral expenses.
Did you depend on that individual for income? You can collect lost wages and future lost wages through a wrongful death claim. That’s in addition to the amount you’ll still collect through your life insurance. A wrongful death claim can act as a much-needed security blanket as you process your grief and struggle to move forward with life.
Myth 2: Accidental Deaths Don’t Qualify
This is a really unfortunate myth because it couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know that accidents cause most wrongful deaths?
That doesn’t mean that intentional death doesn’t count. They certainly do. It just means that they’re not the only things that matter. A car accident, medical malpractice, or workplace accidents all qualify for wrongful death claims.
Myth 3: You Can Only File One Claim
Did you know that it’s possible to file two separate claims when your loved one has died? The first is the wrongful death claim; the second is called a survival action. A survival action allows the deceased’s descendants to recover damages for suffering before their passing.
Contact your attorney if you have more questions.
Myth 4: Statute of Limitations
A common mistake we see is wrongly assuming the statute of limitations. You might think you only have one year to file, but what if you have longer and you’re missing out simply because you don’t know? Every state is different, so contact an attorney if you aren’t sure what you qualify for.
Myth 5: Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
Another common misconception is that the deceased’s spouse is the only one who can file for wrongful death. What if they weren’t married? What if they were divorced? Or what if their spouse passed away?
The good news is that a spouse isn’t the only one who can file a wrongful death claim. You won’t get very far if you were second cousins, but a parent, spouse, or dependent can file. It’s also possible to file for wrongful death if you were the individual’s legal personal representative.
Myth 6: You Can’t Afford It
It’s easy to imagine forking out thousands of dollars for wrongful death claims, but the reality is that you don’t need to pay a dime. What about attorney fees? Attorneys usually collect their cut from what you are awarded for the claim, meaning you have no out-of-pocket expense.
Myth 7: Criminal Charges Prevent You from Filing
Was your loved one involved in an incident that resulted in filing criminal charges? Believe it or not, you can still file wrongful death claims, even in that scenario! Criminal charges don’t take away pain and suffering. They don’t eliminate a dependent’s needs. They don’t mean that you don’t need financial help.
If you’re hesitating about whether to file for wrongful death, we recommend discussing your situation with your attorney.
Myth 8: Filing for Wrongful Death Indicates Greed
Do you worry that filing for wrongful death could make it seem like you just want money? That couldn’t be further from the truth, and anyone who thinks that doesn’t understand what you’re going through. But regardless of judgment or stigma, wrongful death claims are part of the law for a reason.
Sadly, it’s expensive to die. It usually involves medical bills, hospital stays, funeral costs, and lost wages if that person wasn’t retired. How are you supposed to cover all those costs? That’s part of what wrongful death claims are for. You’re surviving your loss and trying to live your day-to-day life.
Myth 9: You Don’t Need a Lawyer
How complicated can filing for wrongful death be? As it turns out, it can be pretty complex, so we highly recommend seeking professional help from an attorney. They can guide you through the process and help you understand how everything works.
It’s possible to file for wrongful death on your own, but it’s not recommended. And since you have no out-of-pocket expenses, why not get professional help to make the process easier?
Flickinger Boulton Gooch Robson
Are you looking for an attorney who handles wrongful death claims? Look no further. Flickinger Boulton Gooch Robson has decades of experience representing clients from all walks of life who have lost a loved one. We understand the difficult time you’re going through and will walk you through the claims process with kindness and compassion.
With offices in Saratoga Springs, West Jordan, Orem, and Provo, we’ve covered Salt Lake and Utah counties (and the surrounding areas) covered. Call us at 801.921.8360 or contact us through our website to set up your free case evaluation. Let us take care of you!