There’s never a “right” time to say goodbye to a loved one. Whether sick or sudden, the death of someone close to you is a time of heartbreak and sadness. The raw and intense pain of death is especially hard when it comes as a surprise to the remaining family, due to a sudden medical emergency or accident. While every unexpected death feels wrong, some deaths are legally classified as wrongful, and sometimes require legal action and intervention.
A “wrongful death” is a death caused by the negligence or misconduct of another. Wrongful death claims are in the realm of civil law and therefore do not deal with any criminal acts that may have been carried out by the responsible party. A wrongful death suit is filed by an attorney in a civil court to recover monetary damages for the plaintiff.
Wrongful deaths may be broken down into two main categories: willful acts or negligence. An example of a willful act would be: I strike you with the intention to stun you or push you with intention to harm. When you fall, you strike your head and die. I did not intend to kill, but my willful act brought about your death. Negligent acts, whether intentional or not, include motor vehicle accidents, some construction accidents, and accidents that happen in the course of a reasonably dangerous activity.
The most common types of wrongful death cases are:
- Vehicular accidents
- Product failure/liability
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Swimming pool and aquatic injuries
- Workplace accidents
- Improper supervision
- Medical malpractice
- Mixed responsibility
The sudden loss of a loved one due to another’s negligence can leave a family facing difficult questions, emotional and financial.
No amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a beloved family member. But a successful wrongful death claim can provide a family with the financial peace of mind needed to cope with the resulting expenses and move forward with their lives.