What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Losing a loved one in an avoidable accident is one of the most traumatic experiences a family can undergo. Sadly, fatal accidents caused by negligence occur and leave families with a significant loss and a result of unanticipated problems. A wrongful death lawsuit can alleviate financial concerns that tend to come with a loved one’s death, although it cannot do away with the emotional pain the family is feeling. These lawsuits pursue compensation for loss of:
- the deceased person’s wages
- love and companionship
- funeral costs
While this compensation will not alleviate the pain of losing a loved one, it can help relieve the financial burden that comes with losing a family member. A wrongful death claim can be involved in personal injury lawsuits where someone is killed because of another person’s negligent actions. A representative of the decedent’s estate can file the suit against the negligence on behalf of the surviving family. The surviving family members must be able to establish two things to win this kind of lawsuit:
- Their loved one’s death was caused by the other party’s negligent acts.
- Provide proof that they have been suffering due to the damages
Common Causes Wrongful Death
Many different accidents, including:
- Auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect
- Product liability
- Work-related accidents
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
A representative usually files a wrongful death claim for the family of the deceased victim. It can vary from state to state and in all states, a spouse may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of their deceased spouse. Parents of minors may also file a wrongful death action if their child is killed, and minors can collect over a parent’s death.
Where states differ is when it comes to whether parents of adult children can sue, adult children can sue for their parents’ wrongful death, grown siblings can sue for wrongful death, or extended relatives like cousins, aunts, uncles, or grandparents can sue. Keep in mind that the more distant the relationship is, the harder it will be to win a wrongful death case.