A wide host of actions can bring about a wrongful death claim, including but not limited to medical malpractice, an automobile accident or product liability. When these situations arise, the next of kin or surviving spouse can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.
Wrongful Death – Types of Damages
Damages can include medical bills, future earnings, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and punitive damages, in some cases.
Four elements of a wrongful death claim
Each state has some form of a wrongful death claim action they adhere too. While state “wrongful death statues” was independently drafted, they do follow the same general principles.
- The death was caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of the defendant; (2) the defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death; (3) there is a surviving spouse, children, dependents or beneficiaries; and (4) monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.
Please keep in mind that the above are general principles, you should speak to an experienced attorney in your state that is familiar with your state statutes.
Who Can Be Sued For Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death suit can be brought against employees, companies, persons and even government agencies. For instance, a automobile accident that involved a faulty road might include the designer or builder of the faulty road. In the case of a drunk driver, the owner of the premises where the alcohol was served could be held liable.