You likely remember exactly what you were doing the day you got the phone call that changed the rest of your life. When a Hawaii police officer on the other end of the line informed you that your loved one had been in a terrible collision, terror may have filled you. After later learning that your beloved family member had not survived the accident, you found yourself wanting answers to what felt like hundreds of questions.
The police officer explained to you that your loved one had been navigating an intersection when a drunk driver ran a red light and slammed into the side of his or her car. You knew you were not the first person to experience such shock and sorrow; yet, you were unsure how you would ever be able to overcome the devastation of the moment.
Pursuing justice in wrongful death situations
It is never easy to experience a family member's death; however, when the death was sudden and untimely, your grief may intensify. There are support groups in most areas to help people in your situation. The following list provides information about another topic, namely filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a party deemed responsible for another person's death:
- Very often, the case may be that the same person one sues for wrongful death may also face criminal charges for the same incident. If so, evidence of the criminal case can typically help substantiate the civil claim.
- No two situations are the same; therefore, the list of damages filed in a particular claim can vary. Wrongful death damages may include loss of present and potential future income, medical expenses associated with an accident, loss of companionship as a result of a family member's death, and any physical or emotional suffering a loved one endured before succumbing to his or her injuries.
- In Hawaii, immediate family members who file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of a deceased loved one include adult children of the dead, spouses or parents. While it may be possible in some other states, siblings are not able to file a wrongful death claim in this state.
- To prove a wrongful death claim, you must show that the party against whom you have filed the suit was negligent and that his or her negligence caused your loved one's death. It can be extremely challenging to do so, which is why most plaintiffs ask experienced attorneys to act on their behalves in court.
No one can take away your sorrow as you go on in life without your dear family member. No amount of court-awarded compensation can replace the loss of a human life. However, once you can think beyond your grief, you may wish to honor the memory of your spouse, child or parent by seeking justice on his or her behalf.