Wrongful death claims can be a difficult area of the law for many people to understand. In essence, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action brought by the family or survivors of a person who has died due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another person or entity. There are many wrongful death claims, and the laws governing these claims vary from state to state.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a term used to describe a death that occurs due to the wrongful conduct of another person or entity. It differs from a criminal case, in which the goal is to punish wrongdoers for their actions. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the goal is to compensate the survivors of the deceased for the losses they have suffered due to the death.
Qualifying Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
1. Negligence, Recklessness, or Intentional Misconduct
The negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another person or entity must have caused the death.
The wrongful conduct must have been the direct cause of the death.
The survivors must have suffered damages due to the death, such as loss of income, companionship, or medical expenses.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
- Surviving spouse of the deceased
- Surviving children of the deceased
- Surviving parents of the deceased
- A personal representative of the deceased’s estate
In some states, other family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
1. Medical Malpractice
If a healthcare provider fails to provide appropriate care, resulting in the death of a patient, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
2. Product Liability
Suppose a defective product causes the death of a consumer. In that case, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the product.
3. Motor Vehicle Accidents
If a driver causes a fatal accident due to their negligence, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
4. Workplace Accidents
If an employee dies due to their employer’s negligence, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
5. Criminal Acts
If a person is killed due to a criminal act, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the perpetrator.
The damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
7. Economic Damages
These damages are designed to compensate the survivors for their financial losses, such as loss of income or medical expenses.
8. Non-economic Damages
These damages are designed to compensate the survivors for their emotional losses, such as loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
9. Punitive Damages
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the wrongdoer’s conduct was particularly egregious.
If you believe that your loved one’s death was caused by the wrongful conduct of another person or entity, it is important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. They can help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you through pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. Remember, no amount of money can bring back your loved one, but a wrongful death lawsuit can help provide you with the financial resources and closure you need to move forward.
Are you looking for a wrongful death lawyer? At Ciceo Law Firm, Our Kentucky injury lawyers fight for justice for those injured due to negligence. Contact us today and have a free consultation!