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How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in India

How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in India

Have you ever experienced the unfortunate death of a near and dear one that you believe has been caused due to negligence or intentional action? Being aware about how to file a wrongful death claim in India is the need of the hour for you! Wrongful loss can be compensated with the help of various negligence remedies. A wrongful death attorney can easily help you identify medical negligence cases and seek remedial measures for the same. 

Although no amount of money can possibly measure up to the lives of those who have been wronged, the Constitution of India lays down the right to claim an assured sum in court for wrongful death cases based on consolidated laws. 

If you are curious about medical negligence in Delhi and other parts of India, we can assist you with an established team of medical negligence lawyers for wrongful death. Read along to find out more about wrongful death and negligence remedies in India.

 

How to Identify Wrongful Death?

The first step in seeking remedial measures for a wrongful death case in India is accurate identification. In order to protect the sanctity of doctor-patient relations and ensuring the safety of hardworking medical professionals, we must stay aware about the difference between a wrongful death/medical negligence case and unavoidable medical circumstances that may have led to the natural death of a terminally ill patient. 

Wrongful death plaintiffs must provide ample proof about the concerned defendant’s duty of care towards the victim, a wrongful breach of that duty and that the mentioned breach was a definite cause of the death of the victim. In cases of medical negligence, the plaintiff similarly must prove the presence of medical malpractice. Once the conditions of wrongful death are proved and accepted in the court of law, the plaintiff is entitled to a sum of money that has been decided by the Designated Officer in accordance with the details of the case. 

Did you know that wrongful death cases are deemed separately from criminal prosecutions? If the defendant is found guilty in a criminal case, it is more likely that the plaintiffs in the corresponding civil suit for wrongful death will also win the case. 

If in case you believe that the jury has not deliberated on the matter as per your satisfaction or if the compensation decided doesn’t amount doesn’t satisfy the severity of the wrongful death case, you can also file an appeal against the decided compensation amount within 30 days of the verdict. 

Important Terms to Understand 

Before exploring how to file a wrongful death claim in India, it is important to become familiar with a few key terms. 

  • Accident - In cases of wrongful death and medical negligence, the term “accident” refers to the incident of death or permanent disability that is unforeseen and unexpected in the event of the plaintiff receiving care from a medical professional. 

  • Permanent Disablement – Permanent Disablement here refers to permanent disability as outlined by Section 2 (I) of the Employees Compensation Act, 1923. 

  • Victim – The victim refers to the individual having suffered death or permanent disability.

Compensation Suit: How to get compensation for wrongful death?

The process of how to get compensation for wrongful death in India is well-structured. 

According to the extent of damage caused, a wrongful death claim can be filed in the Court of Civil Judge that has the jurisdiction to handle the case. The process starts with an application that must be filed to the Designated Officer within 90 days of the accident. Certain documents that are required for this application, but aren’t limited to, include Certificate of Death/Permanent Disability issued to the victim by a recognized Government body, Age Proof of the victim, copy of the First Information Report (FIR) lodged regarding the accident and Proof of the plaintiff’s relationship with the victim for staking claim on the Wrongful Death compensation. 

In the case of more than one dependent, an application must be filed that mentions the specific details of the other persons eligible for claiming the compensation amount. 

The Designated Officer will carefully examine the information provided by the plaintiff and the Detailed Accident Report submitted by Police authorities to release the Wrongful Death claim compensation at the earliest. Please note that the Designated Officer cannot pursue the Wrongful Death claim suo-moto on the basis of the Detailed Accident Report alone, and a dependent’s application is non-negotiable to proceed with the settlement process. 

How much Time is Needed: Wrongful Death Settlement 

After processing all the necessary documents, the Designated Officer shall release the claim of compensation as soon as possible without exceeding a period of 30 days. 

Hence, you will surely receive the wrongful death compensation within 30 days.

The Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 

The Fatal Accidents Act (1855) lays down the guidelines for compensation claims that dependent family members can make in case of wrongful death of their loved one. The concerned court may award a compensatory amount in proportion to the extent of the damage caused to the victim. The division of the compensation amount among members of the plaintiff party shall also be duly decided by the court.  

It extends to the whole of India except Jammu & Kashmir.

How to attain the disbursed sum for a wrongful death claim?

Many of you may ask – Now that the legal procedure is over, how will I attain the disbursed sum of compensation amount for the wrongful death? It’s easy!

The decided amount will be directly deposited through a bank account via a nationalised bank like SBI or Punjab National Bank. However, if you don’t have an account in such banks, you can also opt for a scheduled commercial bank. 

Both the victim’s bank account (operated via Nominee) or a dependent member’s bank account is viable for this disbursement.

75% of the Wrongful Death Claim sum will be deposited in a Fixed Deposit for a minimum of 1 year. The remaining 35% will be available for immediate use by the plaintiff. 

 

If the dependent is below the age of 18, the FD amount can only be attained when he/she becomes of age.  However, this money can be withdrawn in cases of exceptional circumstances, such as for educational or other medical expenses. The disbursement of the sum is then at the discretion of the department. 

Wrongful Death Attorney and Medical Negligence Lawyers

Filing a wrongful death claim in India is easy, but it is effortless with the right Medical Negligence Attorney! 

Sunil Khattri & Associates offer guided assistance at every step of the way to make the process hassle-free for you. Losing a loved one can be hard, and we understand the support you need. 

If you have any queries identifying Wrongful Death or Medical Negligence cases in India, click here and read more

If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one or are reeling under the sorrow of medical negligence, you are not alone! Read more about medical negligence cases in India from our trusted group of experts. Contact us today.

Conclusion

Wrongful death is any accident resulting in death or permanent disablement that may be proven based on grounds of negligence. If you believe that your family member’s death was largely avoidable, you can claim compensation for your loss. 

At the same time, it is equally important to protect and preserve the sanctity of medical professionals. Protection of doctors from unsolicited criticism and unfortunate violence is the need of the hour. Hence, the terms of any wrongful death claim must be sensibly thought out. 

If you want to stay up-to-date with all information related to wrongful death claims and other medical negligence laws in India, read our blog and follow our specialized team of expert lawyers for doctor malpractices.

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