Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?


Death is an immutable fact of life. The past virtues of the recently deceased carry on through the memories of their loved ones. While life is finite, a person’s presence imprints on everything it has interacted with. The last moments of a person’s life stay as a reminder that death can echo through and irreparably devastate the lives of those around. Suing for a wrongful death – an unjust loss of life – should be an action devoted to receiving compensation and security for the ability to grieve in peace.

What is a wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death is defined and occurs when a person is legally at the fault of the death of another person. This does not mean that the person at fault has to have committed a criminal act. Most lawsuits for wrongful death involve either negligence or the reckless disregard of a victim’s life. However, direct forms of threatening a life such as assault or murder can also be sued for wrongful death.

There are different forms of wrongful death claims. Often, the most prevalent lawsuits are based upon the perpetrator’s negligence: the lack of consciously accounting for the volatility of one’s actions where there is a justified responsibility to do so. This can involve motor vehicle accidents, producing defective products, reckless use of force during an arrest among many others.

Medical malpractice also falls under a wrongful death claim. Either by a misdiagnosis or cutting corners of medical personnel – even the most high-skilled workers in the medical field can become liable for a wrongful death claim.

When can you sue for a wrongful death?

Most commonly, the deceased person’s survivors – close relatives – are able to sue for a wrongful death. But, as a general prerequisite, a wrongful death lawsuit accounts for any of the departed’s dependables, distant family members, and persons suffering financially from their severed support network. However, in many states in the US, this law has been amended to also encompass the decedent’s executor or administrator who would see to the facilitation of the administrative responsibilities of their client’s passing.

Wrongful death laws vary from state to state, and it is vitally necessary to decide which state to file a lawsuit in. These differences can determine the statute of limitations and even the amount of compensation possible from damage awards. A lawsuit might be defunct before the survivors of the victim have had the chance to become aware of the possibility of compensation.

What do you need to do before filing a lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit needs to be backed up by evidence of causation. Neglect or recklessness on the part of the person considered at fault must have enough basis and evidence for lawyers to build a case for. First and foremost, however, the death of the individual needs to be proven without a doubt.

It is a crucial point of fact that gathering evidence and reporting one’s loss means little if not presented through the correct channels within the proceedings of a lawsuit. In the search for justice, complications should be the least of a victim’s worries. Contact a wrongful death attorney to look into the first steps in mending the wrongful loss of a loved one’s life. Your attorney can help establish the cause of death, the fault, and the duty of care that the defendant had toward the deceased.