Wrongful death happens when a person dies due to someone else’s negligence, illegal act, willful omission, criminal act, and misconduct. An unlawful death is when someone’s death is caused by another person’s negligent actions with the intent to harm.
Such unlawful and wrongful acts include; a death in the course of another crime, vehicle manslaughter, negligence (like careless driving), and an intentional attack like battery or assault.
A loved one’s death is understandably distressing, especially if their death was unforeseen, sudden, and, was preventable. A wrongful death lawsuit helps the surviving family members seek and find justice for the negligent illegal acts of the defendant.
Filing this lawsuit against the defendant also helps the surviving family have peace of mind and closure to move forward with their lives.
The Wrongful Death Claim
After the initial criminal case trial, the decedent’s surviving family has the right to file a wrongful death to be compensated for the emotional and financial losses incurred due to their loved one’s untimely passing.
An unlawful, wrongful death grounds the injured party to hold the negligent party liable. The liable party is expected to pay maximum compensation for the financial and emotional losses the family has suffered. The elements of a wrongful death lawsuit claim that must be present are:
- The death of a person
- Death caused by another’s negligent actions with an intent to cause harm
- Monetary injuries
- Appointment of a representative of the deceased estate.
The deceased’s surviving family has an exclusive right to file a wrongful death suit for the first three months. Past that, a personal representative of the decedent, a criminal death attorney, should be appointed. A wrongful death lawsuit is also filed if the action that caused the loved one’s death would have led to a personal injury case had the victim lived.
The Unlawful and Wrongful Death Attorney
The unlawful death attorney gathers evidence by interviewing you, family members, police officers, and healthcare givers to get an account of what happened. The lawyer then reviews police reports and the decedent’s medical records.
After gathering evidence, the attorney also consults independent experts to establish who was responsible for the victim’s death. They then review specific economic losses like lost wages, funeral expenses, medical expenses, and emotional distress.
The wrongful death lawyer then negotiates with the negligent party’s legal team to get them to agree to a financial compensation settlement to recover damages outside of court to avoid court case costs.
When the negotiations prove unsuccessful because the two parties have disagreed, the case goes to trial in court. During the trial, both sides present their evidence. The judge and jury then determine whether the defendant is liable to pay fair compensation for punitive damages.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death lawsuit gets filed against drivers who cause car accidents because of their negligent behavior. Negligent behavior like distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, and running lights- is very common among most motorists. They are the most common reason for wrongful death cases because of the high number of vehicles on the road.
Big trucks are especially scary because of their size. Big trucks are also vulnerable to accidents because of oversized loads, drowsy driving, and mechanical issues. If there were road problems, the city municipality is held liable.
Motorcycle accidents are slightly different from car accidents. Most times, motorcyclists themselves are not at fault in motorcycle accidents. Commonly, it is the fault of vehicle motorists who are inattentive on the road.
They fail to see motorcyclists when they change lanes. The city municipality is liable when hazards, such as road defects or debris, are the ones that cause fatal motorcycle accidents.
When a patient dies because of the error or negligence of a medical care provider, it is medical malpractice. Though most health workers are well-trained and experienced, sometimes mistakes happen.
Mistakes often happen because of negligence when hospitals cut corners and fail to provide proper medical care.
Medical malpractices include; Delayed treatment, administering wrong prescription medicine, misdiagnosis, errors during surgery, defective devices, and negligence in the overall health care.
Premise Liability Accidents
These are when a person is struck by or against an object or slips and falls while on-premises with hazardous conditions. The property’s owners are required by law to keep their premises hazard-free. If the beliefs are not hazard-free, they are responsible for any accidents.
Drowning or Boating Accidents
These can occur in a city pool or someone’s backyard pool. If the pool were unsecured, the pool’s owner would be held liable through a wrongful death suit.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
These occur when motorists are not paying attention to the road, especially when turning to the right where sidewalks and bike lanes are. If motorists do not look keenly before making such turns, they can crash into or hit a cyclist or pedestrian.
A motorist can hit a bicyclist with the car door (dooring). A motorist can also cut off a bicyclist, causing them to swerve. These accidents can cause the death of the bicyclists or pedestrians and lead to a wrongful death suit.
When a person dies due to buying and using defective products, the manufacturer is held liable in a suit or claim. Sometimes an entire chain -the designer manufacture and requires organization of the sold product – has a contributory fault and product liability.
The law requires that all new products be thoroughly tested and ensure safety before being released. And hence prevent a wrongful death lawsuit. The most common defective products that can lead to death are Childrens’ toys and pharmaceutical drugs.
Drug-Overdoses and Accidental Poisoning
Overdosing on prescription and illegal drug cases have been rising in recent years. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 2020, since 1991, 841,000 people have died of drug overdoses. In 2019,70,630 overdose deaths occurred in the U.S.A. Prescription drugs and illegal narcotic consumption may not necessarily lead to a wrongful death lawsuit but contain some elements.
Other examples include aviation accidents (plane crashes), nursing homes, field trip accidents, catastrophic injuries, and workplace accidents. Workplace accidents and illnesses, like in high-risk worksites, manufacturing, or construction, go through the worker’s compensation claim path.
When dealing with the unlawful or wrongful death of a loved one or family member, it is advisable to seek the services of a qualified, experienced criminal death attorney. They will help you determine the legal options available, based on your situation, that are best for you and your family.
Seek Justice for Your Loved One – Let Us Fight and Defend Against Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one due to wrongful death is an unimaginable tragedy. If you believe that negligence or wrongdoing caused their untimely passing, you have the right to seek justice. Our experienced team of attorneys is here to stand by your side, fighting to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Don’t face this difficult journey alone – we are dedicated to defending your rights and ensuring your voice is heard. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards seeking the justice your loved one deserves