Providence Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death is a claim brought by the family or estate of a person who was killed because of someone else’s negligence. This allows you to recover damages from the party responsible for your loved one’s death. Wrongful death claims are governed by state law. Rhode Island law states that there must be a minimum $250,000 recovery in order to have a successful wrongful death claim. Providence wrongful death claims can be complex, which is why it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Providence wrongful death lawyer.
Rhode Island Law on Wrongful Death
R.I. Gen. Laws Section 10-7-2 is the applicable wrongful death statute and states that whenever someone or a business or corporation is found liable for a wrongful death claim, that person or entity will be liable for damages that will not be less than $250,000. The statute sets forth that half of the recovery will go to the spouse while the remaining half goes to the children. In the event the decedent had no children, the full amount of compensation will go directly to the spouse. If there is no spouse either, the recovery will go to the next of kin. This law was enacted in order to help compensate widows and children who suffered losses because they were dependent on the victim.
You are likely wondering what happens if a claim doesn’t reach the $250,000 value? Let’s say, for example, that the decedent’s estate took a wrongful death claim to trial and received an award of $100,000. What would happen next is the estate would need to file a motion for additur in order to bring the verdict up to the required $250,000. Given that many wrongful death claims in Rhode Island exceed $250,000, this is not necessarily a common practice.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
There are numerous types of wrongful death claims. These can result out of anything from a car accident to medical malpractice. In order for someone to be liable under the statute, they must have had a duty to the individual who died and breached said duty. Some of the more common types of wrongful death claims you might see include:
- Passenger automobile vehicle accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle or pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Construction or workplace accident
- Defective products
- Slip and fall cases and other premises liability claims
- Medication errors
- Drunk driving
- Dangerous toys and other childcare products
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Toxic food products
- Public transportation accidents
Vehicle accidents are among the most common types of wrongful death claims filed in Rhode Island. Most accidents are caused by drivers who are distracted, speeding, or acting recklessly. Medical malpractice is another common type of wrongful death claim, and the reasons can range from anything to do with birth injuries to surgical equipment left inside the patient.
Contact a Providence, Rhode Island Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have a wrongful death claim, it’s important you seek assistance from a skilled and experienced Providence wrongful death lawyer. Contact the Kiselica Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.