What you should know about wrongful death lawsuits

Losing a loved one is never easy, but it is especially difficult when a person is taken before their time due to someone else’s negligence or intentional malicious act. It is in these cases that many people who have lost a loved one tragically decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death lawsuits sometimes start off as personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuits that aim to compensate someone who has been in an accident or has received substandard medical care. Claims can originate from a personal injury, medical malpractice, criminal or occupational negligence. If the victim dies, however, the focus moves away from the person who was injured, and onto those closest to them and those who have the biggest voids to fill with that person missing from their lives.

Reasons to Compensate

There are several reasons why a person would need compensation after the loss of a loved one. Some of the reasons why wrongful death settlements are awarded include:

  • Medical costs of treating the injury
  • The pain and suffering the deceased person experienced before their death
  • Loss of future income or inheritance
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The loss of services the deceased person provided
  • The value of their care and nurturing presence

How much all of these things are valued, and how that translates into compensation, depends on the person’s relationship with the deceased and the impact they had on their lives.

Who Should File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Usually a wrongful death claim will be filed by close relatives of the person who died. For married people this is frequently their spouse and or children. An unmarried person who died is more likely to trigger a lawsuit from a sibling, adult parent, or grandparent. However, it is possible for anyone who relied on the person for support to have a valid wrongful death claim. The closer the relationship, the stronger the claim a person will normally have.

Several different parties may be held responsible for a single wrongful death, such as an individual driving in a car crash, the bartender that served that person that was intoxicated, and their car manufacturer that failed to communicate a recall for the brakes in their car.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to the criminal, negligent, or malicious acts of another person or company, a wrongful death attorney may be able to help you find some compensation for the loss and begin to heal and move on with your life.