How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works

wrongful death lawsuit

When your loved one has passed away due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to sue for damages. Wrongful death can occur due to neglect, malicious, and even criminal behavior. The surviving family members who are close to the deceased person or who are part of the victim’s estate can file a lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed for a number of reasons.

The Way Wrong Death Lawsuits Work

To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must have a legitimate reason and standing. The cause of the victim’s death has to be directly linked to the defendant who is liable for your loved one’s passing.

What is considered negligence?

To establish a case of wrongful death, your attorney has to show that the defendant is liable for the victim’s demise. In a case of negligence, the defendant must have breached their duty and that breach contributed to the death. This means that the defendant’s neglect, or lack of attentiveness, has somehow directly caused the victim’s death.

What is considered an intentional death?

If your loved one died because the defendant intentionally killed them, this would mean that you saw their actions as premeditated. Your attorney would have to demonstrate how this situation developed and what the defendant’s motive may be. There can be a civil lawsuit separate from the criminal case.

Types of Wrongful Deaths

Medical malpractice is one of the most frequent sources of wrongful death lawsuits. This may be because a doctor was neglectful and didn’t provide high-quality care. Other reasons are misdiagnoses or improper surgical methods. Hospitals frequently experience medical malpractice, as the practitioners are explicitly connected to their patient’s wellbeing. Car accidents are another common reason wrongful deaths occur. This is when a victim dies because of their car crash wounds. The other driver is often liable because of distracted driving, DUI, or just a driving error that led to the crash. Another cause may be because of harmful products. If a product is dangerous and caused the death of a loved one, you can also file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Damages You Can Claim

There are several categories of damages that you can claim in a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, economic damages include the burial and funeral costs, hospital bills, property damage, lost earnings, and future lost income. Noneconomic losses include pain and suffering on the part of the victim prior to their death and loss of companionship. You may also be able to make a claim for punitive damages based on the nature of the accident or crime.

How To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

According to, your can file for a lawsuit on behalf of the survivors or as a representative of the victim’s estate by contacting a diligent lawyer who can represent you. Individuals with standing can include a spouse or romantic partner, a parent of the victim, adult children of the victim, and in some states, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Additional Questions on Wrongful Death Lawsuits

You can find out more information by contacting a wrongful death attorney today. A lawyer can help direct you on what evidence you can supply to improve your chances of a settlement or court award. 

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Posted - 05/19/2021