A death is considered “wrongful” when a person is killed as a result of negligence or misconduct by another person, company, or entity.
The main measure of damage in a wrongful death case is usually financial.
The monetary action resulting from a wrongful death case is generally distributed to surviving immediate family members of the deceased.
A wrongful death case can only be initiated by the representative of the deceased’s estate.
The procedure for initiating a wrongful death case varies from state to state. Each state has its own set of statutes for civil wrongful death cases. Any other grievances, such as pain and suffering by the deceased’s family, are brought up by the representative as well. Any damage awards from a wrongful death case belong to the deceased’s estate and may pass to different parties as outlined in the decedent’s will.
In order to have a wrongful death case, certain circumstances must be true. There must be a death caused by another’s negligence that results in the surviving family members suffering monetary injury as a result of the death.
Under these circumstances, a personal representative for the decedent’s estate can initiate a wrongful death case. Negligence in these circumstances is most commonly medical malpractice, automobile or plane accident, occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances, criminal behavior, or death during a supervised activity.
Damage awards from wrongful death cases result from pecuniary injuries, which courts have defined as the loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical expenses. Fair and just compensation for these expenses and losses is laid out in each state’s laws governing wrongful death.
The expenses recovered in each case will differ depending on the exact circumstances of the wrongful death and the pecuniary injuries resulting from the death. In court, pecuniary loss will be determined based on many factors including the age and character of the decedent, the evidence presented, and expert testimony.
A personal injury attorney can help bring legal action after a wrongful death. Attorneys experienced in wrongful death cases know the time deadlines and procedures for bringing justice against those responsible. If a loved one has died as the result of negligence or misconduct by another, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights.