Only certain types of deaths can be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Anytime that you lose a loved one, you will undoubtedly be going through an incredibly difficult time. Whether the person died unexpectedly or after a long illness, the emotional pain and grief that people experience after a death can be devastating. But in situations where you believe that your loved one’s death was due to the actions of another person, that pain may be magnified by anger. In those cases, you may also have grounds to file a lawsuit for wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims are a type of personal injury case. They are brought when a person or entity has caused the death of someone else either through negligence or through intentional harm. Negligence means that a person failed to use the same level of reasonable care that an ordinary person would in a similar situation. In a wrongful death case, the estate of the person who died can file a lawsuit against the responsible person. In most cases, this lawsuit is filed on behalf of the surviving family members, such as a spouse, children, or parents.
Not every death has grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if the victim of the negligent or intentional act had lived and could have filed a personal injury lawsuit against the wrongdoer, then the survivors can probably file a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, if someone was hurt in a car accident where the other driver was at fault because he was under the influence of drugs, that person would be able to sue the other driver for his injuries if he had survived the accident. If he later died, then his family would be able to sue the other driver for his wrongful death. This is an example of a wrongful death lawsuit based on negligence.
Wrongful death cases can also be filed in cases involving intentional acts. For example, if a woman is murdered by a jealous ex-boyfriend, he can be found both criminally liable for the murder and civilly liable. The family of the deceased woman can file a lawsuit against the ex-boyfriend for wrongful death and recover money in that way.
Medical malpractice cases are another type for wrongful death cases, particularly when doctors fail to diagnose a condition or when they act in an incompetent manner. For example, if a patient tells a doctor that she is concerned about a spot on her skin that she believes could be cancerous, and he dismisses her concern without examining it, and she later dies of skin cancer, her family could potentially file a lawsuit against the doctor for wrongful death based on his failure to diagnose the skin cancer.
Wrongful death cases can be particularly challenging for families because they are dealing with the stress of a legal process on top of the grief of losing a loved one. If one of your family members has died due to the actions (or inaction) of another person, contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys are compassionate and skilled. We will guide you through the legal process, and will stand by your side as we work to get you the best possible recovery for your loss. Initial consultations are always free, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.