Fatal accidents can occur without warning. After the loss of a loved one, New Hampshire families are often left unable to understand the tragedy and unsure of what to do next. When the loss of a family member resulted from another person’s negligence, you could have a viable claim. An experienced New Hampshire wrongful death lawyer could help investigate the claim and guide you through the litigation process.
No amount of money can undo a fatal accident. However, these claims can help you with the unexpected financial burdens that come with an unexpected death. If you are ready to learn about your legal options, contact the Coates Law Office, PLLC, right away.
Wrongful Death Claims in New Hampshire
It is important to understand that a wrongful death claim is not a criminal prosecution. While the State could decide to bring criminal charges against the person who caused your loved one’s death, that decision is unfortunately not yours to make. However, that does not leave the family of a deceased person without legal options.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim against the person or entity that caused your loved one’s death. Unlike a criminal prosecution, a civil claim will not result in jail time. Because these are civil claims, financial compensation is the remedy available to you. Contact an experienced New Hampshire wrongful death lawyer to discuss whether the loss of your loved one could lead to a wrongful death claim.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in New Hampshire?
Every state deals with the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in its own way. Some states prevent the loved ones of a decedent from filing a lawsuit, instead of granting the right to the personal representative of the estate. Other states create a complex formula that identifies one or more persons as the appropriate plaintiff. In New Hampshire, the law takes a more liberal approach.
According to New Hampshire RSA 556:19, “any person interested in the estate of the deceased” has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. This means that any person expecting to inherit from the estate could have the right to bring a lawsuit.
Attorney Bradford Coates has experience taking on New Hampshire’s wrongful death claims. He understands the challenge of taking on a legal claim while grieving for your family member. Contact the Coates Law Office, PLLC, to learn if his compassionate approach to these claims is right for you.
The Deadline to File a New Hampshire Wrongful Death Suit
Like with any lawsuit, there is a deadline to file a New Hampshire wrongful death claim. This deadline is strictly enforced by the court. Should a claim be filed after the deadline expires, there is little doubt the defense attorneys will move to dismiss the case with prejudice. In most cases, the court will grant their motion. This can occur even if the underlying facts of the claim are exceptionally strong.
In New Hampshire, the deadline to file a lawsuit is three years from the date death occurs according to New Hampshire RSA 508:4. The statute of limitations is complex and the margin for error is small. An experienced New Hampshire wrongful death attorney could answer your questions regarding the statute of limitations in your case and ensure that you comply with the deadline.
Damages in a claim differ in some ways from a standard negligence lawsuit. According to New Hampshire RSA 556:12, some of the common types of damages awarded in a wrongful death case include:
- The pain and suffering a deceased person suffers prior to death
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills related to the final injury or illness of the deceased person
- Lost compensation the deceased person could have earned had they survived
The amount of damages available depends on how long the deceased might have lived notwithstanding the accident.
Speak With a New Hampshire Wrongful Death Attorney Right Away
Few things in life are as challenging as the unexpected death of someone you love. If you believe your family member’s death was due to the negligent or reckless acts of another person or entity, you might have a claim for monetary compensation. With the help of an experienced New Hampshire wrongful death attorney, you might be able to maximize your chances for financial recovery. For assistance in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit for a beloved family member, contact Coates Law Office.