A wrongful death occurs when a person is negligently killed by another. It can be the result of a motor vehicle accident, a drunk or impaired driver, equipment malfunction, work-related accident, dangerous drug, pipeline explosion, coal mining accident or a variety of other situations. GKT has represented victims in some of the highest profile cases in the Ohio Valley. Remember, The Right Attorney Makes A Difference.
When a loved one is killed unexpectedly, you will have many unanswered questions. Deciding on what to do next can be difficult and overwhelming. You may find it hard to focus on your daily activities, and the loss of your loved one can be devastating. Oftentimes understanding your legal rights and what happened can help you through the crisis. Our attorneys can help you uncover the truth and provide you with the answers you need. We will help you navigate through this difficult time and seek justice and accountability for your loved one’s death.
While no amount of compensation can ever begin to replace your loved one, the law provides you and your family with certain rights. The law recognizes that the loss may place a financial hardship on you and your family, including medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of earnings and support. In addition, you are entitled to make a claim for loss of companionship, comfort, love, guidance and protection.
We can help you through this difficult time. Our trial attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in successfully pursing wrongful death cases. We will handle all the details so you can focus on what’s important…your family. Home, weekend, and evening appointments are available for your convenience. We take wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis; there is no charge unless we collect money for you. Contact our office today at (304) 845-9750 or toll free at (800) 388-2529. We're ready to help.
GKT Wrongful Death Case Results
In an effort to educate potential clients about the work that we do, we have summarized a few of our cases. The following cases have been generalized in order to maintain confidentiality for all parties involved. Each case has its own set of facts, and the following settlements and verdicts have been obtained based on the facts and merits of each individual circumstance. Therefore, you should not equate the results in this section with respect to your claim.
Confidential Settlement Amount. Drunk driving crash resulting in death. Our client was hit head-on by a drunk driver and killed. The drunk driver was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash. During our investigation, it was discovered that the drunk driver had multiple DUI’s on his record.
Confidential Settlement. Tractor Trailer accident causing death. Wrongful Death. Our client was killed instantly when a trailer came detached from the tractor and hit her head-on. The investigation revealed that the accident was caused by an improperly hitched trailer and an inadequately secured load.
$19.6 million recovery. Coal mine explosion. A violent explosion at a local mine tragically killed several workers and seriously injured others. We represented families of two of the deceased and two injured workers.
$3.6 million recovery. Product Liability. Unsafe drug causing death. Our client took a prescribed drug and died. The manufacturer of the drug knew that the drug had dangerous side effects and failed to advise doctors and warn patients of risks associated with use. Settlement was reached prior to trial.
$3.5 million recovery. Industrial accident. Wrongful death. Our client was assisting in the tear-down and transportation of a crane when he became trapped in the “pinch point” between the bottom of the counterweight and the crane’s truck frame. The decedent’s widow made claims against her husband’s employer, the selling agent of the modified crane, and the company who originally purchased the crane and modified the counterweight that created the “pinch point hazard.” A settlement was reached during trial.
$1.6 million recovery. Job site accident. Wrongful death. Our client was working with a demolition crew that was preparing to tear down a building. A fellow crew member had just finished cutting the steel support rods that were supporting the main roof, and our client was instructed to attach a line to the roof so it could be pulled down. Unfortunately, the building collapsed onto our client who was in the process of tying the line to the roof. Settlement was reached prior to trial.
$885,000 recovery. Death case involving firefighter. Our client, a volunteer firefighter, was a passenger in a tanker fire truck driven by another volunteer firefighter who failed to control the vehicle. The decedent’s estate alleged that the driver of the fire truck failed to maintain control of the fire truck, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and failed to use ordinary care in the operation of the vehicle. The decedent’s estate further contended that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol. Settlement was obtained during mediation.
$625,000 recovery. Swimming Pool death. We represented a family on behalf of their young child who drowned in a swimming pool despite having numerous swimming lessons and two lifeguards on duty. Negligence included failure to adequately supervise individuals using the pool, failure to adequately staff the facility, failure to have adequate first aid equipment available, and failure to adequately train personnel. Case settled prior to trial.
Wrongful Death FAQs
What is a “wrongful death”?
A wrongful death occurs when a person is negligently killed by another, and can result from a motor vehicle accident, a drunk or impaired driver, equipment malfunction, work-related accident, a dangerous drug, pipeline explosion or a variety of other situations. We can help you determine what went wrong, who was at fault, and obtain justice for you.
How can I prove that a wrongful death occurred?
A wrongful death claim must meet the following elements:
- Negligence. Did someone act carelessly or recklessly? Are they guilty of misconduct?
- Breach of Duty. Did the defendant have a duty to the deceased and was that duty “breached,” meaning did the defendant fail in that duty?
- Causation. Was the fatality caused by the defendant’s negligence?
- Damages. Are the survivors entitled to compensation as a result of their loved one’s death?
If you think you may have a wrongful death claim, you should contact our office today at (304) 845-9750 for a free consultation. We will begin our investigation immediately and seek to secure evidence that is crucial to your case. The longer you wait, the greater risk of evidence being lost or destroyed, and witnesses may disappear. Trust our experienced attorneys to work for you and seek justice for your family.
How is compensation determined in wrongful death cases?
Determining the amount of compensation in wrongful death cases is extremely difficult. A wrongful death claim can involve multiple defendants who may be responsible for your loved one’s death. In addition, more than one person may be entitled to receive compensation. Furthermore, some damages may be limited by state laws. In general, damages that may be recovered include:
- Economic damages. This includes financial losses such as medical bills, lost earnings from wages, lost benefits from pensions and more.
- Non-economic damages. This can include compensation for pain, suffering, and mental anguish, as well as loss of parenting, nurturing, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and others.
- Punitive damages. Compensation may be awarded based on the level of misconduct and negligence of those liable.
What’s the difference between wrongful death and murder?
There are many differences between a wrongful death lawsuit and a murder claim. The biggest difference, in general, is that wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions and murder is a criminal action. In civil lawsuits, the plaintiff is awarded monetary damages. In a criminal action, the defendant may be punished by incarceration.
What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit? How long do I have to file a claim?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits vary from state to state, so it’s important to consult an attorney to determine the deadline to file a claim. You should keep in mind that wrongful death claims are complicated, and it may take some time to investigate, gather evidence, and speak to witnesses before filing a claim. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. In addition, sometimes over time evidence can be lost and witnesses disappear, so it’s important to contact an attorney so these items can be preserved.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
There are a number of parties that may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, including a spouse, parent, guardian, or a child of the deceased. In some instances, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Our attorneys can explain who is best suited to bring a claim.