For the people left behind, every death typically feels wrongful. Losing a loved one, especially a member of one’s immediate family, can lead to a sense of grief that lasts for the rest of someone’s life. There may also be financial hardship ahead as the family adjusts to lower income levels and less support around the home.
However, only a small percentage of family tragedies actually constitute wrongful death for the purpose of taking legal action. When people can show that a death was wrongful, they can potentially file a lawsuit against either a business or an individual person responsible for the death.
When is someone’s death likely a wrongful death?
Many situations may meet the legal standard
Surviving family members and the executors of people’s estates can pursue wrongful death lawsuits in a broad assortment of different scenarios. Drunk driving crashes, medical malpractice and even defective products could lead to wrongful death lawsuits.
When successful, wrongful death lawsuits can lead to a judgment that reimburses the surviving dependent family members or the estate of the deceased for the losses generated by their passing. The courts can award compensation for funeral costs, lost wages and other financial losses related to someone’s untimely passing.
The laws for such claims are slightly different in every state, but there are generally two scenarios that constitute wrongful deaths. A death caused by wrongful acts, which are violations of the law, will be a wrongful death. If negligence caused someone’s death, that could also warrant a wrongful death lawsuit.
Evaluating whether a situation meets the necessary standard can help people who believe a loved one’s recent passing was wrongful.