DC Wrongful Death Attorney

    A wrongful death takes place when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or entity. In medical malpractice cases, this could include a negligent doctor, hospital, or other health care provider.

    At Bertram & Murphy, we have more than 25 years of experience handling complex medical malpractice cases that resulted in wrongful death. We know what a devastating time this can be for a family, and we work tirelessly to get the answers you deserve.

    To learn how a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in Washington, D.C., can help your family, please contact us now. The consultation is free, and there is no charge unless we recover compensation for your family.

    What Does Wrongful Death Mean?

    A wrongful death lawsuit is filed as a consequence when negligence inflicted on a person resulted in his or her death. A wrongful death suit aims to compensate survivors for the losses that the death caused for people who depended on the deceased for support, both for financial support and support and guidance for children of the deceased family member.

    The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is that the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also hurt people who depended upon the deceased. Almost every state has enacted a statute permitting a lawsuit to be brought by the relatives of a person who died as a result of a wrongful act. This includes deaths caused by medical malpractice.

    Contact Us Now

    Need Help? Contact Us
    Get A Free Consultation

    Have a Question About Your Case? Call Us Today:

    Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

    An action for wrongful death belongs to the decedent’s immediate family members. Usually these cases are brought by surviving spouses and children, and sometimes parents. A suit for wrongful death may only be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

    Every state has a civil “wrongful death statute,” or set of statutes, that establishes the procedures for bringing wrongful death actions.

    Actions for personal injury, conscious pain and suffering, or expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death are also brought by the personal representative. The damage awards from these actions belong to the estate and may pass to different parties as directed by the decedent’s will.

    Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

    The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to allow compensation for the family or representatives of the estate for their financial loss. You may be able to recover damages for:

    • Lost wages and benefits
    • The value of household services
    • Loss of companionship, comfort, and care for children of the deceased

    The attorneys at Bertram & Murphy will explore every avenue of recovery and fully advocate for you and your family so that you can begin the healing process and try to balance this terrible loss.

    Difference Between a Civil Case and a Criminal Case Against Someone Who Caused a Death

    A criminal case can only be brought by the government or state. On the other hand, civil cases are brought in the name of individuals, not in the name of the state.

    In a criminal case, the prosecutor makes a case against the person accused of a crime, seeking prison time or another punishment. A civil case can be filed by anyone whose private rights or civil rights have allegedly been violated by another party. When a private party files a civil lawsuit for wrongful death, the party is seeking monetary damages, compensation for the loss suffered.

    A civil trial for wrongful death, therefore, is very different from a criminal trial for murder or manslaughter. Civil lawsuits for wrongful death are tried for money damages to balance the harms, not to put the defendant in prison.

    The burden of proof in criminal and civil cases is also different. The prosecutor in a criminal case must meet a higher standard of proof than in a civil case. In criminal cases, the standard is “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” In civil cases, the standard of proof is “by a preponderance of the evidence,” which essentially means “more likely than not,” or put another way, proof by 51% or more.

    What Is a Survival Law or Survival Statute?

    A survival statute allows the estate of an injured person to be compensated for that individual’s losses. Because the injured party has passed away, the survivors or beneficiaries pursue the lawsuit on the behalf of the deceased or the estate of the deceased.

    Can You Sue for the Pain and Suffering of the Decedent in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

    While a wrongful death award compensates the survivor, a pain and suffering award normally compensates the person who experienced the pain and suffering. Some states allow pain and suffering to be included in a wrongful death lawsuit; others do not. The pain and suffering must have been due to the injuries that eventually caused death, and the person who died must have been conscious enough to actually experience the pain and suffering.

    Can I Bring a Wrongful Death Action Based on the Death of a Child or an Elderly Person?

    Yes. The calculation of damages, however, may be different and more limited for children and elderly patients who are no longer working.

    Our D.C. Wrongful Death Attorneys Demand Full Compensation for You

    Determining how much the death of a loved one is worth is a critical aspect of any wrongful death claim. It is also the most difficult part of the claim to generalize. The amount depends on your very particular circumstances. In assessing the value of your claim, we will consider everything you have suffered as a result of the death of your loved one.

    The D.C. wrongful death lawyers at Bertram & Murphy will be objective about your case and will not make a rash decision.

    At Bertram & Murphy, we work hard to reach full and fair settlements for our clients, as early in the litigation process as possible. If a trial becomes necessary, our wrongful death attorneys can zealously represent you in court and fight for a full and fair jury verdict in your favor.

    Please contact us today to schedule your free consultation and learn how our trusted wrongful death attorneys in Washington, D.C., can help your family.

    Learn More About Our Firm

    Schedule a Free Consultation

    Fill out the form below to set up a case review with one of our attorneys at no cost.

    Questions? Call us
    202-803-5800 request a Callback
    • The Best Lawyers in America
    • U.S. News Best Law Firms
    • AV Preeminent
    • American Association for Justice
    • Washingtonian Best Lawyer
    • Super Lawyers
    • Best Lawyers 2024
    • Best Lawyers 2023
    • Daily Record-The 2022 Powerlist, Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice.
    • Best Lawyers 2022
    • AAJ Leaders Forum
    • Best Lawyers 2021