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How to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim

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If someone you love has died because of someone else’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation via a wrongful death claim. Unfortunately, many people don’t really understand what a wrongful death claim is and aren’t especially motivated to pursue one.

How do you pursue a wrongful death claim and is it worth the time and effort?

Your First Step: Contacting a Lawyer

The first step of the process should always be contacting a wrongful death lawyer. Your lawyer is going to be your personal representative, representing your best interests, helping you understand the law, and advising you on the best course of action for your wrongful death suit. Most wrongful death lawyers are willing to offer an initial, free consultation, so there’s no real risk or downside to contacting one to determine if you have a reasonable wrongful death claim on your hands.

Upon first contact, your lawyer may inform you that this wrongful death claim isn’t worth pursuing, for one reason or another. If your claim is worth pursuing, however, they’ll help you understand the first steps of the process and provide you with instructions for how to conduct yourself from here.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

In case you aren’t familiar, a wrongful death claim is a civil claim filed against an individual or an organization that was responsible for a person’s wrongful death. Wrongful death can occur in many situations and for many reasons, but it’s usually associated with an intentionally harmful action, malpractice, or negligence.

Wrongful death claims are often (but not only) filed in the events of wrongful death on the job, car accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability issues. If a person died because of someone else’s actions or lack of actions, it could hypothetically qualify as a wrongful death.

When filing a wrongful death claim, plaintiffs seek compensation from defendants. Compensation can be awarded for:

  •       Medical bills. If there were significant medical bills incurred as a result of this action or accident, the defendant may be responsible for reimbursing you for them. Any medical expenses associated with this particular event may be included.
  •       Funeral expenses. The defendant may also be responsible for compensating you for funeral expenses. The amount awarded may vary depending on several variables.
  •       Mental pain and suffering. Losing a loved one is horrific, and typically causes significant pain and suffering. While it’s hard to put a price tag on pain and suffering, most guilty defendants in wrongful death claims end up paying at least some money in compensation for this.
  •       Loss of support and services. Compensation is also frequently awarded for loss of support and services. If you relied on this person for income, important responsibilities, or just help around the house, it needs to be acknowledged.
  •       Loss of future earnings. Loss of future earnings is what it sounds like; it’s compensation for the earnings this person would have had were it not for the wrongful death.

Who Can Sue?

In most cases, spouses, children, and other close relatives can sue for wrongful death. However, there are some jurisdictions and some specific scenarios in which other people can sue for wrongful death as well. Talk to your lawyer to find out who can file a claim in your area.

Important Considerations

There are some important considerations you’ll need to bear in mind before beginning to pursue a wrongful death claim:

  •       The statute of limitations. Understand that there’s a statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. The exact length of time varies from location to location, but you’ll usually only have a year to a few years before you’re no longer able to file a claim.
  •       Evidence. If you want to prove that the defendant is responsible for the wrongful death, you’ll need evidence to do it. Your lawyer can guide you with more specific detail here, but you should do everything you can to gather and preserve evidence that shows what happened.
  •       Proving negligence. Proving negligence can be difficult in a court of law, as you’ll have to prove four separate things: duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and damages.
  •       Timelines. Wrongful death claims can sometimes take a long time to pursue. It may also take some time and energy on your part. Make sure you’re prepared for this before you begin the journey.
  •       Fees. Many wrongful death attorneys will not charge you unless you win compensation. Either way, make sure you understand the fees for which you are responsible before you enlist these professional services.

Tragedies can never be undone, but it is possible to seek justice and compensation with the help of a skilled attorney. If you’ve recently lost a loved one in an event that was attributable to someone else, it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Lifestyle

The Role of Medicine in Achieving and Sustaining a Healthy Body Mass

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The CDC’s latest numbers classify approximately 42 percent of Americans as obese, and over two-thirds of American adults qualify as either obese or overweight. Living with excess weight heightens people’s risk for debilitating and chronic but otherwise preventable conditions like stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

With new weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy on the rise, many are wondering if these medications live up to their hype and can even help end the obesity epidemic. Sergio Padron, founder and CEO of online healthcare and weight-loss support company MD Exam, believes they can — up to a point.

“It’s important to approach these medications with a thorough understanding of what they can and can’t do,” Padron says. “Magic pills for weight loss don’t exist.”

The importance of achieving a healthy body mass

According to Padron, achieving and sustaining a healthy body mass is key to good health. To obtain your body mass index (BMI), online calculators like this one from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ask for your height and weight, run them through the standard formula, and generate your score. The last step is to find this number in the standardized ranges considered underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

“Many healthcare professionals use the body mass index (BMI) for a quick approximation of most people’s health,” he explains. “All you need is the patient’s weight and height, and you can calculate this number.”

There are exceptions, however. “In particular, bodybuilders and other athletes can generate results that make it seem like they aren’t healthy, when in fact they’re in excellent condition,” Padron explains. “That’s because BMI doesn’t consider muscle mass, and muscle is more dense than fat. In addition, BMI doesn’t account for visceral fat being more dangerous than fat deposits elsewhere in the body.”

That’s why Padron cautions people not to make snap judgments based on BMI alone and to seek a more comprehensive view from healthcare professionals. “Factors like body composition, blood markers, and lifestyle need to be considered,” he explains, “which is one of the many reasons why we only offer individualized care at MD Exam.”

If your BMI falls in the overweight or obese categories, then it’s time to make a change. “Unfortunately, excess body weight means you could be developing major health problems that you otherwise wouldn’t,” Padron says. “Being overweight has also been associated with depression. In my experience, it can have a negative impact on self-esteem and even lead to the development of eating disorders.”

Luckily, groundbreaking new drugs have become available to help people recover their quality of life.

How Ozempic and Wegovy can help

According to Padron, pharmaceutical solutions like Ozempic and Wegovy can help most people achieve and sustain a healthy body mass. These medications reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness, thereby enabling people to regulate their consumption better.

“One of the most important things our patients report is that they’re no longer tormented by cravings,” Padron says. “They find it easier to avoid overeating in the first place.”

In addition, Ozempic and Wegovy have been shown to decrease visceral fat — the dangerous kind of fat deposits. “The idea is to optimize health and well-being, not just lose weight,” Padron says. “We want to make sure you lose the right pounds. When you lose visceral fat and keep muscle, you are heading in the right direction and your body composition improves.”

In some rare cases, however, Ozempic and Wegovy aren’t effective. “Luckily, other interventions can be effective in those cases, such as Tirzepatide or classic weight-loss drugs,” Padron says.

Yet Padron emphasizes that weight-loss drugs alone are insufficient to achieve and sustain a healthy body mass.

Personalized, comprehensive support

“Just taking a pill won’t make pounds disappear,” Padron says. “To lose weight, it’s necessary to get real about your lifestyle and actually change your habits. If you haven’t been exercising, for instance, then it’s time to start getting up a little earlier and going for a morning walk. If you haven’t been eating well, then it’s time to stop buying soda and junk food.”

Easier said than done? “We know it’s hard,” Padron says. “That’s why our program takes support seriously. Our medical staff works with patients one-on-one to develop treatment plans that will work for them. We also provide coaching and connect patients to each other for mutual support and accountability. MD Exam is a community. People make friends for life on our platform.”

Lose weight, feel great

Obtaining a healthy body mass often leads to increased energy levels, improved mobility, and reduced joint pain. It can also help control chronic conditions like high blood pressure and sleep apnea, as well as forestall the development of preventable diseases. If that isn’t already enough, it can also boost patients’ self-confidence and mental health.

“Our patients experience an incredible feeling of accomplishment and empowerment,” Padron says. “Losing weight can be truly transformative. I can’t tell you how many people have told me their whole outlook on life has become more positive.”

For Padron, helping people lose weight is its own reward. “I love watching people shed their depression and come back to life,” he says. “This is the most rewarding work I can imagine.”

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