Tips & Advice
What is a survival action?
A survival action is similar to a wrongful death lawsuit. Both seek damages based on the wrongful death of the decedent. However, where a wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the surviving members of the victim’s family, a survival action is brought by the estate of the decedent. The estate is allowed to sue for pain and suffering, and potential loss of wages and income as a result of death. The damages are awarded to the estate, not the family members, which can occur if the estate’s interest and the family members’ interests are not the same.
Is a wrongful death lawsuit settlement taxable?
Damages won as a result of a wrongful death suit are not taxable. According to the IRS, any damages awarded by the court to the plaintiff for physical illness or injury are not taxable, and wrongful death falls under that statute.
What is a loss of consortium?
Loss of consortium means a spouse is no longer able to perform or engage in sexual activity, either temporarily or permanently, as a result of injuries sustained by the actions of the defendant, like in a car accident. It’s not something typically thought of immediately following an accident, but it is a legitimate cause for damages, and stems from a precedent set in 1850 when the wife of the victim of an accident caused by negligence sued and won.
Who has the right to file for a wrongful death lawsuit?
Usually the immediate surviving family members of the victim file a wrongful death suit. However, laws on who can file vary from state to state. Most wrongful death suits are filed for losses on behalf of the family, (immediate family; distant family, such as siblings and grandparents; domestic life partners; parents of a deceased fetus; and financial dependents) or the estate (losses to the estate as a result of death). Again, laws vary from state to state, so research your state laws or consult a wrongful death attorney to understand your rights.
What are wrongful death damages?
Wrongful death damages are monies awarded to the plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit. The surviving members of the victim’s family may file a civil suit and sue the defendant for pecuniary or financial injury. Pecuniary damages relate to the loss of financial support (if the victim was a primary earner of a household), services, lost prospective inheritance, and medical and funeral damages as a result of the death.
What is a wrongful death?
Wrongful death is when a person dies or is killed as a result of misconduct or negligence by another. These can include (but are not limited to) things like murder, medical malpractice, reckless driving, or any illegal or negligent activity. In some cases where the defendant is not convicted of the crime, they can be sued in civil court by the surviving members of the victim’s family for damages.
What is a wrongful death attorney?
Wrongful death attorneys specialize in handling cases in which a person is killed through the neglectful, willful, or wrongful act of another person or entity, including medical malpractice and workplace-related deaths. Wrongful deaths can be caused by murder, reckless driving, or nearly any negligent or careless act.. Wrongful death suits are meant to compensate the family members left behind by suing for damages.
How is child support determined?
Each state has different mandates on how child support is determined. But there are some basic factors that underline how costs are determined in each state, including:
- Income level of parent that needs to pay support (in the case of joint custody, the costs are determined by income of each party and the percentage of time the child spends with each parent)
- Financial needs of child
- Child’s standard of living before the divorce occurred
What is a no-fault divorce?
This is a divorce in which one party does not have to prove that the other’s actions lead to a deterioration of the marriage. The reason for divorce is listed as "irreconcilable differences" or an "irreparable breakdown of the marriage,” meaning the marriage was no longer working and could not be repaired.
In what situations can a family law attorney be helpful?
Family law attorneys are helpful in cases where the two parties are not on amicable terms. The lawyers can act as intermediaries between the two parties and help them come to any settlement agreements, however long that may take.
Lawyers can also help parties navigate tricky state laws regarding settlement agreements and child custody, thus expediting the process.