In the case that a person dies due to the negligent, reckless or deliberate act of another, then any surviving relatives of that said person have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit in order to receive some sort compensation for the untimely death of their loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit is basically a civil court action filed in order to determine the number of damages that the surviving family relatives are entitled to because of the wrongful death of their loved one.
Grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit
A circumstance that may constitute for the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit does not only include the death of a relative due to the negligent, careless or deliberate act of another. There are few things that the surviving relatives must prove. Surviving relatives must show that the death of their loved has had a direct impact on them not only emotionally but financially.
In order for any wrongful death lawsuit to be successful, the family must establish to the court that:
- The death of their loved one was a result of the negligent, reckless or deliberate action or inaction of another.
- If the surviving relatives manage to prove the above, then the next thing is to establish to the court that they have suffered measurable damages due to the wrongful death of their loved one.
Some of the common grounds that call for a wrongful death lawsuit include accidental death due to a motor vehicle accident, medical or work-related malpractice or a death during the commissioning of an unlawful act such as a crime.
Those who can file a wrongful death lawsuit
Those who can file a wrongful death lawsuit include surviving spouses and children. In some states, extended family such as siblings and grandparents can file the suit. In cases where there are minors involved, the court appoints a guardian to look after the best interest of the minors.
The types of damages that can be collected from a wrong death lawsuit
The following are some of the damages that can be collected by surviving relatives once they have established that the wrongful death of their loved one:
- Medical and burial expenses.
- Surviving relatives can be compensated for any lost wages that the deceased would have made had they lived on to reach their life expectancy.
- Surviving relatives can be compensated for pain and suffering incurred due to the loss of their loved one.
- In various states, there may be punitive damages. This is intended to reprimand the person who was negligent and discourage anyone who may want to duplicate such behavior.
Different states have different statutes of limitations on how long a person can wait before they file a wrongful death lawsuit. In the case that you believe the death of your loved one was a result of the reckless, negligent or deliberate act of another, then it is best you consult an accident attorney at the earliest convenience before you are barred from forever following that particular course of action. This is in order for you to receive compensation and those responsible for being held accountable.