What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

| Apr 29, 2020 | Firm News |

When your family loses a loved one due to the actions or negligence of another person, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover certain damages.

While no amount of money can bring a loved one back, compensation is to help ease your monetary suffering that results from the loss of your loved one.

What circumstances qualify as wrongful death?

According to FindLaw, wrongful death contains the following elements.

  • A human being is deceased as the result of someone else’s actions
  • Those actions are either intentional or negligent in nature
  • Financial suffering results from the death of the decedent

Wrongful death claims can result from situations such as murder, medical malpractice or even work accidents that result in death.

What damages are recoverable under a wrongful death suit?

There are two main types of damages that a judge may award under a wrongful death claim. The first type of damages addresses pecuniary losses. These are losses that are a direct result of the decedent’s passing, such as medical and funeral expenses or loss of income. Additionally, the judge may also award punitive damages. These damages are disciplinary to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future.

A wrongful death lawsuit may also include a survival action. Survival actions hold the responsible party accountable for the pain and suffering the decedent sustained after their injury, but before death. There are several things a jury considers while determining a survival action. This includes elements such as how conscious the decedent was before they passed away and how much pain they endured.

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