A wrongful death is a fatality caused by another party’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions, such as a death caused by a defective product, drunk driving accident, or premeditated murder. Wrongful death cases are civil suits brought by survivors who were dependent on the deceased for financial or emotional support. Civil suits differ from criminal murder cases in their standard of proof, damages sought, and role of the victim’s family in pressing charges.
Since the process of litigation in cases of wrongful death can be overwhelming and confusing, having gifted attorneys on your side is absolutely imperative. Our Honolulu wrongful death lawyers will determine whether you have a case, help you meet Hawaii’s statute of limitations, interview witnesses, help you collect documents, choose the best litigation strategy, and protect you from the defendant’s insurance company. To secure excellent legal representation for your case, contact our practice today.
Hawaii law requires that wrongful death claims are filed in court within two years of the victim’s exposure to harm and the appearance of their injuries, not from the time of death. The City and County of Honolulu and certain other counties maintain a six-month time limit. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible will ensure that you meet the statute of limitations.
Suppose a person that is seriously injured and hospitalized, presses charges while in the hospital, but dies before the case is settled. Two types of damages can come of this case. First, according to “survival statutes,” the surviving immediate family members can continue pressing the initial charges and collect the damages their loved one would have received. Second, the family can press separate wrongful death charges to vindicate their own emotional and financial losses. The amount of compensation awarded to survivors is based on their present financial dependence on the victim.
Damages can cover:
• Medical and funeral expenses associated with the death
• The victim’s future earnings and benefits at their present value
• Lost inheritance
• Survivors’ pain
• Mental anguish
• Possible punitive damages
The attorney fee you will pay is a percentage of the damages your lawyer achieves from litigating your case. Our Honolulu wrongful death lawyers at Leavitt Yamane & Soldner charge on a contingency basis, meaning that we collect fees if and only if your case is successfully settled.