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Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is defined as the loss of a loved one due to the mindless actions or negligence of another person or company. While inherently dangerous, the oil refining industry is governed by standards and guidelines that are in place to ensure the safety of its workers. As the recent explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon demonstrates, even when the guidelines are followed, faulty equipment or the negligence of supervisors can spell disaster for the common crewmember.

When a loved one has been lost due to these circumstances, the surviving family members may not know what they are entitled to under the law, nor the timeframe in which to file a claim. The compensation that the family is due is calculated by using a number of different factors. These can include the following:

  • Lost financial support that had would have been provided by the lost family member;
  • Physical and mental pain caused by the injuries that led to his or her death;
  • Life expectancy of both the victim prior to his or her injury, and the life expectancy of the surviving spouse;
  • Pain and suffering that the victim experienced prior to his or her death;
  • Loss of companionship provided by the victim to the spouse.

The time limit to file a wrongful death claim varied from state to state but is usually 6 months to two years.

Regardless of how it happened, the loss of a loved one is a tragedy that should have been avoided. As more details emerge from the deepwater oil rig explosion, a pattern of negligence and equipment failure is emerging. While legal action cannot bring back a loved one, it can bring accountability to those responsible and possibly prevent another family from suffering the same pain.

If you have suffered a personal loss due to the negligence of others in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the maritime law attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help. Call Arnold & Itkin LLP toll free at 888-498-8212 or contact our maritime law office online. We will discuss your concerns and provide a candid evaluation of your claim, all as part of a free consultation.

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