Wrongful Death Attorneys

When a person or company is at fault for causing a death the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation under the wrongful death laws of the state in which the death occurred. The benefits available and the persons who may be entitled to receive benefits are defined by each state’s statutory law and court decisions interpreting the statutes. Vermont’s wrongful death statute, 14 V.S.A. § 1492, has been interpreted as allowing the survivors to receive compensation for loss of companionship, as well as loss of intellectual, moral, and physical training, and loss of care, nurture, and protection. Other states define available wrongful death damages differently.

New Hampshire’s wrongful death statute, RSA 556:12, permits the deceased party’s estate to recover monetary damages for the deceased’s pain and suffering after the injury but prior to death, the loss of life and loss of earnings during the period that the deceased would have survived but for the accident, and funeral and burial expenses. In addition, certain family members, specifically the spouse and minor children, may each recover a defined amount of money for their emotional loss. Unlike Vermont, however, parents have no independent right of recovery.

In order to bring a claim for wrongful death in Vermont or New Hampshire the appropriate surviving family member must file a petition with the probate Court and be appointed as the representative authorized to bring the claim. Then the wrongful death action, a second lawsuit, must be filed in the appropriate trial court.

A Vermont attorney experienced with handling wrongful death claims can protect your rights and advocate for you. The issues are similar to those in a personal injury claim but wrongful death claims are often more vigorously contested by the responsible party and their insurers because typically there is more at stake.

The lawyers at Brady / Donahue represent clients both pursuing and defending wrongful death claims. We are also frequently hired by insurers to defend such claims. Having the experience handling both sides of wrongful death claims helps us to better represent our clients on both sides.

From start to finish of your claim for loss of a loved one, our Vermont attorneys will provide prompt, efficient, and effective legal services with the steadfast aim of achieving the best possible outcome for the client.