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What is considered wrongful death?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Personal Injury |

When a person dies because of negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party, it may be a wrongful death. But what exactly constitutes wrongful death?

Definition of wrongful death

Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the wrongful actions, negligence, or misconduct of another person, company, or entity. This legal principle helps surviving family members or beneficiaries file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party.

How does wrongful death happen?

Wrongful death can occur in various situations, including:

  • Car accidents caused by a drunk or distracted driver
  • Medical malpractice resulting in patient fatalities
  • Workplace accidents due to unsafe conditions
  • Criminal acts such as homicide,  assault, or domestic violence

Defective products like faulty machinery, pharmaceuticals with undisclosed side effects, or consumer goods with design flaws can also cause a wrongful death.

Why do survivors pursue a wrongful death lawsuit?

Often, survivors pursue wrongful death lawsuits to seek financial compensation. This compensation may be for funeral expenses and lost income. They may also want the right people accountable for someone’s death. Raising awareness with a lawsuit can also prevent similar incidents. Pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can also help survivors honor the memory of the deceased and find emotional closure.

How can you prove wrongful death?

Proving wrongful death typically requires:

  • Demonstrating that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased,
  • Proving the defendant breached that duty through their actions or negligence,
  • Proving this breach directly resulted in the death.

Proving wrongful death can be a complex legal process. This may require the expertise of experienced attorneys specializing in wrongful death cases.

Ultimately, understanding what constitutes wrongful death is crucial for both seeking justice for the deceased and providing support for their grieving loved ones.