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Wrongful Death: Why These Claims Make a Difference

  • Losing a loved one in an accident is terrible, especially when the death is so unexpected. When the death is caused because another person was negligent, the grief can be accompanied by anger and a feeling of a need to find justice. That is why a wrongful death lawsuit can be a good option.


    A wrongful death lawsuit can provide vital information to help a loved one understand what happened to cause the death of that person. A wrongful death lawsuit can bring closure, as it can provide some final answers about why this terrible thing happened. Although no legal action can ever replace the person who was lost, the claim can help the loved ones deal with the deep wound left behind.


    The legal action can sometimes also help the family to get through a financially difficult period. In many cases, the deceased was the primary breadwinner in the home, and the wife and children are left with little means of financial support. The financial award in some wrongful death claims can be in the millions of dollars. This amount of money can be used to ensure that the family and its children are well cared for until they become adults.


    This type of claim can provide answers and can also restore some sense of justice and be a means of honoring the person who is no longer with us. Many people feel that taking this action can bring about some healing in the aftermath of such a tragedy.


    Wrongful Death Claim Overview


    A wrongful death is one that happened because of the negligence or wrongful actions of another person. Wrongful death claims can be filed against both individuals and groups or companies. Such a claim can even be brought against a hospital, nursing home, place of business or workplace where the death happened. Common examples of situations where a wrongful death claim could be brought include:

    • A fatal car accident where a drunk driver was at fault
    • A person died in a hospital from having the wrong medication prescribed
    • A death resulting from use of a faulty product
    • A mortal wound caused by a piece of machinery at work
    • Death after a surgery that was not done according to standard medical protocols.


    Sometimes, more than one person can be the subject of a wrongful death claim. For instance, take the death that is caused by the driver of a company vehicle. The driver could be at fault, as could be the company who owned the vehicle that was not properly cared for under state law. Or the driver may have had a suspended license. The keys to a successful wrongful death action are to determine the causes of the death and identify all parties that could be held liable in court.


    Who Can File?


    Wrongful death lawsuits generally can be filed only by the close members of the family, such as parents, spouses and children, including adopted children. In some cases, the representative of the estate can file the claim. The proceeds may be split between estate beneficiaries if the claim is successful.


    Damages Sought in Wrongful Death Claims


    Typically, financial restitution can be sought for the following in many cases:

    • Medical expenses due to the negligence
    • Final expenses, including funeral and burial expenses
    • Cost of filing the claim, such as attorney’s fees
    • Lost wages and benefits the deceased probably would have earned
    • Claims for loss of parental guidance for small children
    • Pain and suffering, loss of love and companionship.


    While a wrongful death lawsuit will never bring back the lost loved one, there are legitimate reasons to file such an action. A wrongful death claim can bring a sense of closure and justice in an unjust situation, and can provide much-needed financial support for the dependents of the deceased.