When someone dies as a result of someone else’s intentional or negligent behavior it’s called wrongful death. While the injured party can’t file a wrongful death lawsuit, their surviving family members can file a suit on behalf of the deceased person.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, these elements will be present:
- The death of a human being;
- Caused by another’s negligence, or with intent to cause harm;
- The survival of family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death;
- The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
Wrongful Death Circumstances
A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of circumstances, such as in the following situations:
- Medical malpractice resulting in death;
- Automobile/airplane accidents;
- Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances;
- Criminal behavior;
- Death during a supervised activity or event.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Depending on the circumstances that lead to the event of a death, individuals may have the right to seek legal action against you. Although nothing can truly make up for a life-altering event such as a serious injury or the death of a loved one, there are instances in which victims may be able to recover monetary damages to compensate for their suffering and provide a sense of closure. Pecuniary, or financial,
Pecuniary, or financial, injury is the main measure of damages in a wrongful death action case. Courts have interpreted “pecuniary injuries” as the loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses occurred. Most laws provide that the damages awarded for a wrongful death will be fair and just compensation but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to cost you more than you can afford.
Your best chance at alleviating the amount you have to pay and serving minimal jail time is to have the best lawyer.