A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim brought against a defendant who caused a person’s death through recklessness or negligence. The plaintiff is the estate of the deceased person. Typically a wrongful death lawyer is hired on behalf of the surviving family members to file the lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit is only applicable if the deceased had a viable personal injury claim but the plaintiff is now deceased due to the injuries suffered from the negligences or intentional harm of the defendant. There are many different types of accidents that can cause wrongful death:
- Automobile accidents including car accidents and truck accidents
- Slip and falls that lead to head and spine injuries
- Medical malpractice including anesthesia errors, misdiagnosis, and surgical errors
- Defective products and failure to warn about the associated risks of products
A wrongful death lawsuit works the same as a personal injury lawsuit in the sense that a plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted in a negligent or reckless manner and breached the standard duty of care. It essential to prove that the injuries sustained during the accident were the main contributors to the death of the defendant. If the attorney is successful in proving negligence, the plaintiff is award damages in the form of compensation for the following:
- the pain and suffering of the deceased pre-death (called a survival action)
- the medical costs of the deceased pre-death
- funeral and burial costs
- loss of the deceased’s expected income
- loss of inheritance
- pain and suffering
Although a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring a loved one back, the unexpected loss can leave many families in financial hardship. If you believe that your loved one senselessly died by the wrong-doing of another person it’s imperative to contact an attorney.