Dealing with a loved one’s death is difficult, no matter what. However, when the death was the direct result of another person’s negligent behavior, the grieving process may take an added twist.
A wrongful death action may help the family recover financial compensation. When the cause of death was especially egregious, the family may get extra damages. Find out more about when a wrongful death lawsuit may become appropriate and who can file one.
Definition of Wrongful Death
When a person becomes injured through the action or inaction of another, it may qualify under a personal injury claim. If these injuries lead to death, the personal injury claim becomes a wrongful death action. Basically, any death caused by the negligence of a person acting contrary to ordinary circumstances is a wrongful death. The most common examples of incidents that may lead to a wrongful death case include:
- Car accidents
- Medical accidents
- Workplace accidents
The People Left Behind
If a person dies suddenly, there is a chance that this death will cause extreme hardship for loved ones. For instance, if a husband and father of three is struck by a car and killed, there is a chance that the needs of his wife and children will be significant in the wake of his death. Was he the only income earner? What can the family do now that they are left with no money coming in? Anyone who is directly impacted by the death of a loved one may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Those dependent on the deceased have the best standing to qualify for this type of legal action.
The Negligent Party
While it may be hard to accept, accidents are sometimes just that. When there is no malice or predicting factors to an accident, then there is a chance that the case will not qualify as a legal wrongful death. The issue that needs to be present and verifiable is negligence. The person who either set the incident in motion or failed to stop it is the guilty party. If this guilty party knew or should have known that their action or inaction was wrong, it is considered negligent. Only cases that can prove negligence will move forward as a wrongful death.