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What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Case?

by meghanbelnap

If you or a your loved one dies due to another person’s intent or negligence, it could constitute a wrongful death claim. This legal claim often seeks to compensate for losses the deceased has to incur such as a loss of income or insurance coverage. The statutes governing such cases do vary from state to state. Nonetheless, many common principles define the nature of death and the procedure followed when handling such lawsuits.

How the Legal Process Works on Wrongful Death Claims

The success of wrongful death claims primarily depends on the person filing the lawsuit. While the legal process can be involving, the complainant must always provide specific evidence of negligence in the courts of law. These include justifiable proof of negligence such as breach of contract and other causations. In other words, there must be a direct/proximate series of events that led to the fatal injury/death of the victim. Alternatively, you must clearly prove the defendants’ intentions to harm the victim. If you can’t provide tangible evidence that holds the defendant liable, you won’t get any compensation.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

It is important to note that not everyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In the US, only the surviving relatives can file these claims. Unless you are an immediate spouse, children, or deceased’s parents, you don’t qualify to file these lawsuits unless otherwise. In some states or countries, however, distant family members such as cousins, uncles, aunts or grandparents, or even romantic partners can file the cases. If you feel like an extended family member should be compensated, it may be worth reaching out to a law office near you for clarification or recommendations. For example, a local lawyer may be able to look at the situation of the person who died and the effect their death had on that family member. If they feel the law suit would provide that compensation, then they may provide their services or recommendations for moving forward.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Generally, there are many types of cases where wrongful death claims can apply. So long as your loved one is caused by an act of negligence or intentional doings, you should always file these lawsuits. The following, however, are real-life examples of common types of such cases:

Intentional Killing

The wrongful death claim may apply if someone intentionally kills the other. The defendant may be held liable through a criminal case.

Vehicle Accident

When your loved one is killed because of another person’s act of negligence, such as drunk/distracted driving, then a wrongful death claim may take the course.

Medical Malpractice

There are cases where the medical facility/personnel engages in medical malpractice such as wrong diagnosis, careless handling, wrong prescription, or improper treatment, leading to death. In that case, they can be held liable through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Work Accident

Occupational accidents are common. If your loved one dies because the employer failed to provide a safe working environment, they will be held accountable.

Defective Products

Manufacturing companies are expected to produce safe products and services for all consumers. In the event that an individual dies because of defective products, the companies will be charged through wrongful death claims.

While the above-mentioned are common cases, others may include aviation, pedestrian, and semi-truck accidents, to name a few. Since wrongful death claims are complicated in nature, it’s good that you hire a reputable lawyer to represent you.

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