Wrongful Death Attorneys
Helping Families Seek Justice for Wrongful Death
Unimaginable loss is at the center of every wrongful death claim. This type of legal action requires the plaintiff – usually a representative of the deceased’s estate or a surviving family member – to demonstrate that the negligence of the defendant led to the avoidable death of another person. Intent does not matter and does not need to be proven for the plaintiff to prevail.
At Potts Law Firm, we recognize that there is no monetary amount that can ever make you or your family whole if someone you love has perished due to preventable injuries. That does not mean you are not entitled to adequate compensation for burial expenses, lost income, and other significant losses, not all of which will be directly calculable. Our wrongful death lawyers are here for you during this enormously difficult time and have the experience and knowledge required to hold responsible parties accountable. We have recovered over a billion dollars for our clients and will work tirelessly to get you every dollar you deserve.
Our firm offers same-day appointments, do not hesitate to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (888) 420-1299 to contacting us online. We also provide services in English and Spanish.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is meant to compensate the survivors of the deceased for monetary and non-monetary losses directly resulting from the defendant’s negligence. For this reason, only certain people have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Each state enforces its own rules for who can bring a wrongful death claim. In many states, only the most immediate surviving relatives, including the spouse and children of the deceased, can take legal action. Many states operate under rules that allow more distant relatives, including parents, siblings, and grandparents, to bring a claim if closer relatives have passed away or do not exist. If there are no surviving relatives, many states allow the personal representative of the deceased’s estate (also known as the executor) to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Eligible parties only have a certain amount of time to bring a wrongful death claim. The precise statute of limitations varies by state, but the clock does not start ticking until the day the victim passes away – not the day they sustained fatal injuries. For example, if someone suffers catastrophic injuries in a bicycle accident but does not succumb to those injuries until several weeks later, qualifying parties will have a set amount of time (determined by their state’s laws) from the day the victim passed, not the date of the accident. If the applicable statute of limitations expires, survivors of the deceased cannot recover any compensation.
If a loved one recently passed due to the negligence of someone else and you are not sure whether you have the right to file a claim on their behalf, turn to Potts Law Firm. Our wrongful death attorneys can help you understand your legal options.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The person who brings the wrongful death claim can recover monetary and non-monetary damages on behalf of the victim. So, if the surviving spouse files the lawsuit, they will receive money if they prevail, even if there are other surviving relatives. If the personal representative takes legal action, the deceased person’s estate will receive any recovered compensation.
Depending on your circumstances, damages you can potentially recover through a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Burial and funeral costs
- Medical expenses related to the deceased’s fatal injuries
- The value of wages, benefits, and monetary means of support the deceased would have contributed had they lived
- The value of gifts and inheritances the deceased would have given had they lived
- The value of services the deceased would have provided had they lived
- Mental anguish suffered by the deceased’s survivors
- Loss of consortium, care, guidance, love, and companionship
In some rare instances, a court may award punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior. Punitive damages are generally only considered when the defendant’s conduct was especially reckless or malicious.
Note that each state has different rules for what survivors can specifically recover. California, for example, does not allow survivors to get compensation for mental anguish, but it does permit recoveries for loss of care, guidance, and love. Some states also place caps on damage recoveries, particularly in scenarios involving medical malpractice. Our wrongful death lawyers can review the laws pertinent to your case and walk you through what we may be able to help you recover.
We are here for you as you navigate this unthinkably challenging time. You will owe us nothing unless we win your case, so call (888) 420-1299 or contact us online today.
Paraplegic Minor $12 Million
Derek H. Potts and Timothy L. Sifers obtained a $12,100,000 verdict against Lisa Gard, M.D. for medical malpractice involving a minor. The jury found the Salina emergency room doctor to be negligent in her assessment of the minor upon presentation in the emergency room, failing to timely diagnose a rare spinal condition. The case was one of the largest verdicts in history in the State of Kansas.
Birth Injury $4.6 Million
Derek H. Potts and Samuel Cullan were members of the plaintiff's trial team which obtained a $4,600,000 verdict for a minor delivered at Bethany Medical Center. Ariana Wilburn, the minor, suffered a spinal cord presentation after being born in the breech position.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Birth Injury $3.5 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $3,500,000 settlement for a single mother whose infant suffered severe brain damage while being delivered in a New Mexico hospital. The mother, having no previous pregnancy or medical issues, began laboring and immediately went to a hospital. Despite the clear signs of fetal distress and hypoxia (lack of oxygen), the doctor and nurse did not order an emergency cesarean section.
Sgroi vs. St. Louis University Hospital $1 Million
St. Louis City District Court, 2009. Lead Plaintiffs Trial Counsel obtained a $1,004,421 verdict due to medical malpractice and successfully argued an appeal before Missouri Supreme Court upholding the verdict. Total fees and expenses of $525,702.04. See Sgroi vs SLUH, No. SC 89840.
Failure to Diagnose $825,000
Derek H. Potts obtained an $825,000 jury verdict in St. Louis against the hospital and doctor for failing to diagnose a hip fracture. It was appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court which affirmed the verdict, adding interest.
Wrongful Death $800,000
Potts Law Firm secured an $800,000 settlement on behalf of a family for the wrongful death of their father. The father of five from Las Vegas, New Mexico was wheelchair-bound. While visiting his dentist’s office, the father maneuvered his electric wheelchair up a ramp. The ramp did not have a curb or rails to prevent a fall. Despite being airlifted to a hospital, the father died of his injuries.
Surgical Negligence $600,000
Potts Law Firm secured a $600,000 settlement for a young woman who was a victim of New Mexico medical malpractice. The woman underwent gallbladder removal surgery; the most common operation in America. The surgeon negligently performed the procedure, allowing bile to spill within the woman’s abdominal cavity before closing her incision.
Negligent Cyst Removal $250,000
Potts Law Firm secured a $250,000 settlement for a young man who was the victim of medical malpractice in New Mexico. The man, who underwent surgery for cyst removal on his neck, had his nerve negligently cut by the surgeon. The damaged nerve in the man’s neck caused paralysis to his shoulder blade, requiring extensive physical therapy to regain his nerve connection.
Surgical Negligence Confidential Settlement
Potts Law Firm achieved a settlement for a medical malpractice case on behalf of a minor injured during surgery in Kansas.
State of Kansas vs. John Cheek Jury Trial 1st Degree Murder Conviction
Wyandotte County District Court, 1995. Member of the Prosecution Trial Team which obtained a 1st degree murder conviction of an off-duty police officer.
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“Michael Bins has been extremely helpful in helping us to navigate a situation with an insurance claim on a commercial property. He’s gone above and beyond in moving our case toward a positive resolution that we’re satisfied with.”- Theo C.
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