Haslam & Gallagher, LLP

Wrongful Death


While no amount of money can bring back a loved one, this tragedy should not be forgotten. The wrongdoer(s) may not be punished criminally or adequately under the criminal judicial system. They must be called upon to pay fair damages and change their conduct to prevent future deaths or injuries. You should always employ competent counsel to assist you in evaluating your loss.

One of the most difficult and wrenching experiences faced by the modern trial lawyer is representing the family, usually the parents, in an action for the wrongful death of a child. It is a sensitive task, demanding an appreciation of deep-seated feelings brought about by this type of negligent harm to the family.

Determining the scope of liability is the first issue for the trial attorney. The second challenge is to recover compensation commensurate with the loss suffered by the parents and children. Historically, damage awards have been exceptionally low. Both the survivors and the estate may receive compensation.

  • We have successfully prosecuted many cases on behalf of the estate, parents, the surviving spouse, and the children.
  • The law places many restrictions on this type of claim and competent counsel should be consulted immediately. For everyone’s safety, an opinion from competent counsel may prevent future injury and also answer questions which may develop years later.
  • Employing counsel immediately provides some peace of mind that the matter is being reviewed and evidence is preserved. The family then may make informed decisions on how it wishes to proceed. We know the insurance companies investigate immediately, and it is important to make sure that evidence is gathered to determine the truth of what occurred and not just a one-sided version calculated to protect the financial interests of the wrongdoer(s). Many times courageous people can change the conduct that led to the death.
  • Business and government are constantly valuing the cost of human life. The US government spends thousands of dollars on studies to learn how much American business would have to invest to save a human life. Competent counsel can assist you in evaluating your loss. While we live with the loss one day at a time, Americans place a high value on human life. Ask yourself what benefit my loved one would have wanted to come from his death, so that future generations have a better chance and more opportunity.
  • While there are too many causes of wrongful death to list, some of them include:
    • Electrocution
    • Automobile Crashes
    • Dangerous Products
    • Pharmaceuticals and Drugs
    • Defective Premises and Property Conditions

Through the years the OSHA budget has been reduced to keep fines for corporations and businesses that hurt people at nominal levels. It can take months to determine or attempt to determine the cause of death.  We have been instrumental in helping families find answers and seek redress for gross negligence.  The following is an example of testimony from a wrongful death case where the company admitted to putting profits over safety:  the father was electrocuted and the family destroyed for, in our opinion, gross negligence by the company.  The OSHA fine after finding the company culpable was a mere $7,500.

Haslam & Gallagher, LLP

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