A wrongful death lawsuit is a kind of lawsuit brought when someone does as a result of another person’s negligence or as a result of some intentional actions. This lawsuit allows people close to the deceased to file a lawsuit against the person they hold liable for the death. Let’s get into what is a wrongful death lawsuit?
When is Wrongful Death Applicable?
Wrongful death lawsuits involve all types of accidents from simple car accidents to complicated medical malpractice.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed if they were intentionally killed. Persons, companies, and even government agencies can be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, if the victim was murdered and the defendant is facing murder charges, the family of the deceased can decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If a doctor misdiagnosed a patient or did not offer good medical service and it resulted in their death, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the doctor.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought forward if the victim’s death was a result of someone’s negligence. For example, a car accident that happened as a result of the driver’s negligence is enough grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death can come from any kind of personal injury except for work-related injuries that led to death which is handled by the worker’s compensation system.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by a representative of the deceased. Some of the people that may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit are:
Immediate Family Members
In most states, immediate family members of the deceased such as the children, spouse, and parents of unmarried children including adopted children of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Dependents of the Deceased
Some States allow individuals that were financially dependent on the deceased to find a wrongful death lawsuit. Some states even allow people that were financially affected by the death. A putative spouse, that is, someone that strongly believes they were married to the deceased, can also file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Distant Family Members
Some states will allow distant family members like brothers, sisters, and grandparents to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, a grandparent who raised the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Parents of a Deceased Fetus
In some states, parents of a deceased fetus can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person they hold responsible for the death of their fetus. Some states will only allow you to file a wrongful death lawsuit only if the child was born alive and died. You should check your state laws and also check with your lawyer to know if it is allowed in your state.
Damages for Wrongful Death
Damages in a wrongful death claim include the deceased person’s pain and suffering, medical treatment costs, funeral costs, loss of income, loss of love, loss of any inheritance, and even value of the services the deceased could have provided.
There is usually a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This is usually decided by the court and if it exceeds the time limit, any right to recover damages will be lost.
In conclusion, several elements must be present for you to be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. First, the person’s death must be caused by another person’s negligence or intent. Monetary injuries related to the death will also allow the surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You should also know that state laws differ among states.
Rehan is a student of Masters at the University of Birmingham. He loves writing about business, finance, technology, and life. He believes that sharing knowledge with the public is the best thing that one can do for the world and humanity.