What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

On Behalf of Renick Law Firm, PLLC |
Nov 15, 2022 |

In the event that a person dies as a result of the misconduct or negligence of a third party, it is possible for survivors to sue for “wrongful death” damages. The purpose of these lawsuits is to gain compensation for the loss the survivors experienced, and may include compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages and lost companionship.

There are many cases where a wrongful death lawsuit may come into play. An example would be if somebody dies as a result of a drunk driver’s actions. The wrongful death lawsuit may target the drunk driver him or herself, or perhaps the bartender that served the driver drinks. According to FindLaw, there are 4 aspects that must be present in a wrongful death case, and damages may vary.

What you must show

First, you must prove that the person in question is dead, which is usually the easiest factor. Next, the plaintiff must prove that the death was a result of a third party intending to cause harm, or acting negligently. The third element is that the survivors experienced monetary injury due to the death. The final element is that there must exist a personal representative of the dead person’s estate. This person may be a spouse, a child or another relative.

Varieties of damages

In most cases, the damages in wrongful death cases are monetary. The court calls these “pecuniary injuries,” which involve compensation for loss of support, inheritance prospects, funeral and medical expenses and more. Much depends on the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death.

Wrongful death cases are common in the US. If one of your loved ones is dead as the result of the ill-intent or negligence of another, you may get compensation.