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What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?

What is Wrongful Death? Wrongful death happens when someone dies due to another person’s carelessness or deliberate actions. Family members or a representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek financial compensation from the responsible party.

If someone had a duty to keep another person safe and failed to do so, resulting in death, it might be considered a wrongful death.

When Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? For example, if a person dies because a driver was drunk or texting while driving, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Drivers must follow traffic laws and drive safely to avoid accidents.

Doctors and healthcare providers also have a duty to provide proper care. According to Johns Hopkins University, over 250,000 patients die each year due to medical mistakes. Families of these patients may be eligible for wrongful death claims.

If a doctor’s mistake, like a wrong diagnosis, surgical error, or improper medication, causes a patient’s death, the family can sue for wrongful death.

Family members of someone killed by another person’s actions can also file a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, if someone is attacked and dies from their injuries, the family can sue the attacker. Additionally, if a person dies in prison due to neglect or mistreatment, their family can work with wrongful death lawyers to sue the responsible parties.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed even if the person responsible faced criminal charges and wasn’t convicted. The burden of proof in civil cases is lower than in criminal cases, so families might still win compensation.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Typically, a surviving spouse and minor children can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If a minor child dies, the parents can sue the responsible party.

State laws vary on who else can file these lawsuits. Some states allow parents to sue for an adult child’s death or adult children to sue for a parent’s death. Other states have stricter rules.

In some states, adult siblings, grandparents, and other distant relatives can sue, while in others, they cannot. Some states even allow an unmarried partner or anyone financially dependent on the deceased to file a lawsuit.

In certain states, family members cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, a representative of the victim’s estate must do so.

What Can Survivors Sue for in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Family members can seek compensation for medical bills incurred before the victim’s death, the victim’s pain and suffering, and funeral and burial costs.

They can also sue for the loss of income the victim would have earned, loss of inheritance, and loss of services the deceased would have provided. Additionally, family members can claim compensation for the loss of love, companionship, care, guidance, and nurturing.

Some states allow punitive damages to punish the offender and deter similar actions by others.

Various factors, such as the victim’s age, health, intelligence, and earning potential, affect the compensation amount. Experts may provide testimony to help determine the victim’s earning capacity and the value of their services.

Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney Losing a loved one is heartbreaking, and dealing with legal matters can be overwhelming. The Scranton Law Firm helps families in California seek justice for their loved ones.

If your relative died due to someone else’s negligence or intentional acts, we might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit for you. Contact our office today to speak with a member of our knowledagable staff.

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