Manchester Wrongful Death Lawyer Discusses Surviving Family Members’ Rights
As an experienced personal injury law firm, we understand the unique nature of wrongful death lawsuits, including the intense emotional turmoil a family faces when deciding whether to sue the party responsible for their loved one’s demise. If your family member was recently killed in an accident and you believe another party is responsible for the death, we encourage you to speak to a Manchester wrongful death lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC right away about your rights under New Hampshire wrongful death law. In general, immediate family members or the administrator of the decedent’s estate may sue on behalf of the deceased party by claiming negligence or strict liability against the responsible party. The theory behind wrongful death actions is to ensure a responsible party is not alleviated from liability merely because the victim passed away.
Who can sue for wrongful death in New Hampshire?
As your Manchester wrongful death lawyer will explain, Section 556:12 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes lists those eligible to file a lawsuit in wrongful death. Eligible plaintiffs include the surviving spouse, minor children, or surviving parents (if the decedent was a minor). These individuals may sue for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of society or loss of comfort. In addition, the plaintiff may seek the actual costs of the decedent’s final injury or illness, as well as funeral expenses.
How is liability determined?
Whether the defendant is liable to the plaintiff in wrongful death will hinge upon whether the defendant would have been liable in a cause of action for negligence had the victim survived. In general, negligence is found where the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim and breached that duty, resulting in injury. If the defendant would have been negligent had the victim lived, he cannot escape liability in wrongful death.
As your Manchester wrongful death lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will explain further, it is not required that a defendant go through the criminal courts and receive a conviction in order to be successful in wrongful death. This is due, in part, to the fact the civil courts have a much lower standard to meet in order to prevail, known as “preponderance of the evidence,” as compared to the criminal standard: beyond a reasonable doubt.
Contact a Manchester Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you recently endured a heartbreaking death in the family and would like to speak to a lawyer about your rights, we encourage you to contact a Manchester wrongful death lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC at (603) 624-7200 or toll-free (800) 984-3151.