Wrongful death cases in Rhode Island are litigated by experienced RI wrongful death attorneys / lawyers in lawsuits and claims filed by the decedent’s surviving family members through the executor and administrator of the estate. These types of cases usually involve fatalities caused by another’s negligence, carelessness or reckless behavior or through some type of intentional act. The defendants in these cases are typically entities or individuals believed to be at fault for causing the deadly truck, motorcycle or RI car accident death.
In many cases, the surviving family members want to seek justice and hold every negligent party accountable for their actions by uncovering the truth of how their loved one died. Rhode Island Wrongful death litigation usually requires proving the surviving family members have suffered serious harm because of the death. While no amount of money can bring back the love and compassion of the decedent, family members often seek monetary damages as compensation for medical, financial and funeral expenses in addition to the loss of any future benefit or income no longer provided by the deceased victim.
Types of fatal accidents
A wrongful death lawsuit in Providence Superior Court can be filed for various types of accidents or incidences that caused the demise of the victim. The most common types of wrongful death cases involve:
•Fatal Vehicle accidents, semi-truck crash (big rig or 18 wheeler wreck), bicycle collision, motorcycle crash, slip and fall or construction mishap
• Medical malpractice
• Workplace accident
• Accidental drowning
• Childbirth injury
• Premises liability including slip and fall incidences and dog mauling
• Product liability including defective pharmaceutical medications, faulty mechanical devices and dangerous products
• Criminal act
Wrongful Death Claim Eligibility
Not every member of the victim’s extended family is eligible to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. In most cases, survivors must meet the following criteria that includes:
• Immediate Family Members – The individuals filing a suit or claim are immediate family members of the victim who died in the accident or incident. This may include a spouse, children, parents etc.
• A Valid Death Certificate – The survivors filing a claim or suit must have verifiable proof that the love one has died by providing a death certificate from the coroner’s office.
Pre-Litigation Phase in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
In many cases, a Providence wrongful death attorney will provide various necessary legal services before the case is filed and litigated with opposing counsel and the court. Many important decisions and tasks must be completed before accepting an out-of-court settlement or litigating the case in front of a judge and jury. Some legal decisions in the pre-litigation phase include:
• Surviving family members will hire a RI personal injury attorney or Rhode Island wrongful death attorney specializing in wrongful death cases by signing a contingency fee agreement. This means all legal fees are paid only from proceeds through a negotiated settlement or trial award.
• The Rhode island wrongful death law firm representing surviving family members will commence a full comprehensive investigation to determine the actions that led to the love one’s death. The investigation will lead the East Providence fatal accident attorney to gather evidence, take depositions and interrogatories, conduct interviews and give notice to insurance companies of the defendants that survivors are pursuing financial recovery.
Many successful wrongful death litigations involve suing more than one party at fault for the truck, car, premises liability or motorcycle death. The RI motorcycle accident attorney will typically file a complaint to commence a lawsuit or litigation through “pleadings” with the court. The litigation phase will also include discovery and the request for producing documents from the opposing side. Throughout the litigation phase, both sides usually have a comprehensive understanding of what key witnesses in the case will testify at trial, the strength of their testimony and their credibility in front of the jury.
Typically, after the depositions of all witnesses and litigating participants have concluded, the RI wrongful death attorney will begin the pretrial phase that can be resolved in arbitration or at trial. It is during this time that settlement discussions will begin, where the plaintiff or victims in the case can negotiate a financial resolution. However, settlements should only be negotiated by skilled RI wrongful death attorneys experienced in obtaining successful financial recovery for their clients.