If someone dies as a result of someone else’s carelessness, malpractice or deliberate actions, then the surviving members of the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who’s responsible for the untimely death of their beloved one.
Ultimately, a wrongful death claim is usually filed against a defendant who’s responsible for the victim’s death either through intentional harm or utter negligence. That said, how exactly does it work?
To begin with, here are the situations under which a wrongful death lawsuit can actually become applicable:
1. In case someone is killed intentionally: A classic example of someone who was killed intentionally is the murder of Nichole Simpson by her husband, OJ Simpson. OJ was afterwards sued by Nichole’s family for murdering his wife.
2. In case someone is killed due to a medical malpractice: If a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition correctly or is careless in providing the required level of care to the victim, resulting to his or her untimely death, then a wrongful death claim can be filed against the doctor.
3. In case careless car driving leads to someone’s death: If a family member dies as a result of careless car driving, a wrongful death complaint can be brought against the driver.
Please note; these are just but a few examples of cases that are eligible for wrongful death claims. But basically, a wrongful death complaint can be elicited by any form of personal injury, except for work injuries that caused a person’s death—which are supposedly handled by the workers’ compensation system.
What Should Be Proven In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
For a wrongful death claim to go through, the plaintiff must have the same proof the victim could have had if he or she was still alive. So if negligence is part of what killed the victim, then you must be in position to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty or responsibility is what directly or indirectly resulted into the victim’s death.
Who Is Eligible To File The Lawsuit?
Usually, a wrongful death claim is filed by the surviving relation of the deceased. However, the exact family members to file the lawsuit against the defendant can actually vary from state-to-state. But in a great majority of states, spouses and children are considered the rightful candidates to be compensated for the incurred damages.
For minors who get killed, parents of the minors are the lawful candidates to file the lawsuit against the guilty party. Minors, on the other hand, are allowed to collect compensation for the damages that have resulted from their parents’ untimely death. However, different states seem to disagree on whether adult children can actually sue the offenders for their parents’ ill-timed demise.
In some states, close members of the extended family—aunts, cousins, grandparents or uncles—are permitted to file the lawsuit in case a family member is wrongfully killed. But generally, the more distant one is related to the victim, the harder it is for the person to be compensated for the wrongful acts.
In most states, however, anyone who can prove to have any financial dependence on the victim is permitted to file the wrongful death claim. It is important that you speak to a lawyer so that they can advise you the way forward.
Wrongful Death Damages
The surviving members of the victim’s family can collect the following compensations once it’s established that their loved one was actually killed through a wrongful act:
. – Burial expenses and fully paid medical bills.
. – Compensatory damages for the suffering and pain that the surviving family members have had to endure since the victim’s death.
. – Compensation for the wages that the victim could have earned had he or she actually lived.
. – Punitive damages to the person who did the wrongful act. Usually, such punishments are administered to discourage such acts.
. – Compensation for the Loss of companionship, consortium and love
. – Compensation for an inheritance that has been lost due to the victim’s death.
. – Compensation for the total value of services the victim could have provided had he (or she) actually lived.
Immunity For Certain Agencies And Employees
In some cases, government agencies or certain persons are usually immune to wrongful death lawsuits. In other words, they cannot be held liable or sued for the wrongful death of their employees or anyone else who gets killed while on duty. However, those entitled to the immunity may actually vary from state-to-state.
Hiring A Providence Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorney
If a loved one has passed away due to someone elses’s negligence, you do not have to suffer alone. We can help you get justice. Contact our Providence wrongful death attorney at 401-751-0101 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.