"Wrongful Death" refers to a lawsuit arising from a person's death, where a decedent's survivors or estate brings the suit. Wrongful death lawsuits often arise from a fatal accident, where the survivors claim that the accident would not have happened if the defendant had not been negligent.
In wrongful death cases, the deceased victim's survivors, such as family members or dependents, can bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for the victim's death. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult enough. These laws exist, so the deceased victim's survivors do not have to pay for funeral and other expenses. These laws aim to compensate the survivors, not the deceased victim. Wrongful death statutes are found in state statutes. Time limits for filing a wrongful death suit, qualifications for plaintiffs, and permissible damages will vary by state.
Unlike other torts, wrongful death did not exist at common law. Instead, it was a later invention of lawmakers. Traditionally, courts didn't even recognize the existence of tort victims who died. They would deem the injury to have been suffered and therefore should have been compensated by the deceased's next of kin. Over the last century, courts recognized traditional rule as a gross injustice. Lawmakers in many states now permit the representatives of a deceased tort victim to bring a wrongful death action against the person who caused the injury in the first place.
In most jurisdictions, there are two separate causes of action for people whom other people injure: wrongful death and a related claim called a survivor action. Wrongful death lawsuits compensate the victim's family members for their damages, such as the loss of financial, emotional, and other support the victim had been contributing to the household.
However, suppose the tortfeasor is also to blame for the victim's death. In that case, the plaintiff may also have a survivor action, compensating close family members for their losses resulting from the victim's death.
The death of a victim in a malicious act is tragic. An individual who suffered from a successful evil act can sue the at-fault actor in two types of lawsuits: survival actions and wrongful death actions.
Wrongful death claims may arise in a variety of circumstances. The most common cases involve claims of negligence. The defendant was careless or reckless in their actions, and this carelessness caused harm to the victim. For instance, medical malpractice cases often result in wrongful death claims.
All wrongful death cases are unique because each family must have experienced similar things under tragic circumstances. All families must experience loss of companionship, funeral expenses, medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. One case, however, can experience these losses to a greater or lesser degree.
Statute bodies create wrongful death statutes. They are written out in books, created by lawmakers who sit back and debate the best method for determining fault and what damages can be awarded to the deceased's surviving relatives.
Of course, plaintiffs can conduct their investigation into the defendant's activities and use the evidence to bolster their case. This is primarily accomplished through the "discovery" process. During discovery, the defendant can be forced to turn over documents, emails, or other evidence favorable to the plaintiffs. In a case based on negligence, discovery may reveal that the defendant purposefully ignored risks to the victim's safety.
A wrongful death lawsuit is very different from a criminal proceeding. The state's attorney brings a criminal case on behalf of the state where it is up to the state to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a very rigorous standard.
On the other hand, a civil case is filed by the victim's family to recover money damages for their benefit. Some states refer to these cases as tort actions, meaning "wrongs ."You have to show that the people or company who is being sued caused the victim's death. This may be proven using a painter, such as proving negligence or recklessness.
In close personal relationships, such as siblings, significant others or spouses, or parents, determining what constitutes "close" and "emotional" is subjective. The defendant in that situation can use research, depositions, and even psychological evaluations to downplay a victim's importance in the relationship and decrease their wrongful death settlement.