Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Before contacting a personal injury attorney regarding a wrongful death claim, there are certain conditions that are important to consider. Wrongful death claims do not apply in every case and may only be filed by certain people.

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is when a person dies as the result of the action or negligence of another party. Death occuring from medical malpractice, as the result of a gunshot or a victim of a drunk driver would all be considered wrongful death.

Who can file a wrongful death suit?

Wrongful death suits are typically filed on behalf of the estate of the decedent. The suit can generally be filed by an immediate family member including parents, spouses and children. In order to be eligible to file a wrongful death suit, the person must have standing under the law to show a loss as a result of the death.

What type of damages can be obtained?

While damages vary greatly, in many cases, wrongful death claims can be filed to recover medical expenses, funeral expenses and other direct expenses. In addition, there may be damages for loss of future income, loss of love or companionship and loss of parenting.

Additional damages

In some cases, an attorney may suggest you file a survival action. This is when a person with standing is able to file a personal injury suit on behalf of the decedent. Wrongful death survival actions will depend largely on the degree of the decedents ability to understand their medical condition prior to death, how severe their pain was and how much the decedent suffered prior to death.

When you lose a loved one, especially when the death was a result of someone's negligence or a deliberate action, you should contact a personal injury attorney. Only a well-qualified attorney can help you understand your rights under personal injury statutes.


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