An Overview of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death lawsuit occurs when the negligence, recklessness or deliberate behavior of someone causes the death of someone else. Surviving family members will be able t file a wrongful death lawsuit to collect damages that resulted from a loved ones untimely death.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil court action that is filed so a judge can determine the amount of damages that surviving family members should collect.
Grounds for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the case presented is that not only did someone lose their life as a result of the negligence of someone else, but their family members are directly impacted emotionally and financially as a result of their death.
Common grounds for wrongful death lawsuits can include accidental death caused by an automobile accident, a work-related death, medical malpractice, or a death that was caused by an unlawful act that took place during a crime.
There are two things that the family of the deceased must establish in order to have a successful wrongful death lawsuit:
1. The family must prove that the death of their loved one was in fact the result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or deliberate act, and not by their family member’s own action or inaction that could have prevented their death.
2. If the above requirement is met, then the family must prove that because of their loved ones unexpected death, they themselves suffered measureable damages.
Who Can File
In every state, surviving spouses and children can legally file a wrongful death suit. In only some states however, extended family members (grandparents, siblings) can file.
The surviving family member that files the lawsuit is required to open a probate estate so they can sue on behalf of the deceased family member. If minor children are involved, the court that oversees the lawsuit may require a guardian to look out for the best interest of the child or children.
Damages That Can Be Collected
1. Medical bills
2. Burial expenses
3. Compensatory damages (for lost wages that the deceased person would have earned if they had lived their normal life expectancy)
4. Compensatory damages for pain and suffering that the surviving family members endured
5. Some states will award punitive damages, which are intended to punish the person that is the reason for the wrongful death and prevent them from such behavior in the future.
If you feel that the death of your loved one was the result of negligence, recklessness or the deliberate acts of someone else, contact Thrush Law Group today. Our personal injury attorneys will make sure your rights are protected and the untimely death of your loved one is not in vain. Visit www.azautoinjurylaw.com for more information.