Wrongful Death Lawsuit—Everything You Need To Know

Wrongful Death Lawsuit—Everything You Need To Know

A wrongful death claim can be filed when a person passes away due to the misconduct or negligence of the defendant. In certain cases, the wrongful death is intentional on the defendant’s part as well.

A wrongful death claim allows the estate or loved ones to file a lawsuit against the party that’s legally liable. Every state has its own laws on wrongful death claims and lawsuits, but usually, the representative of the victim’s estate can file the claim.

When is a wrongful death claim applicable?

A wrongful death claim can be filed after an event where the victim, who would otherwise be able to file for a personal injury claim, is killed due to the wrongful actions of the defendant. Wrongful death happens in a number of situations, like:

  • When the victim is killed intentionally
  • The victim passes away due to medical malpractice
  • A car accident occurs due to the negligence of a driver

The plaintiff must be able to prove the defendant is liable for a wrongful death claim. Let’s say the cause of wrongful death was negligence; the attorney and representative of the estate would have to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. The defendant then breached that duty of care, causing the death.

 Gavel

Who can file the claim?

A wrongful death claim can be filed by a representative of the estate, on behalf of loved ones. In all states, the legal spouse of the victim can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. If the victim is a minor, the parents can file the claim. Similarly, minors who have lost a parent or parents can collect compensation.

Damages involved in a wrongful death lawsuit

It’s essential to hire an experienced and skilled attorney for your wrongful death claim. The damages retrieved depend on their negotiation. Typically wrongful death damages include:

  • The medical treatment expenses prior to death
  • The pre-death pain, suffering, and trauma caused to the victim, known as the survival claim
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of the victim’s expected income
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Value of service the victim would otherwise have provided
  • Loss of care, nurturing, love, companionship

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