What Qualifies As A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The concept of wrongful death is pretty simple.

If an individual passes away due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, their family can sue them for wrongful death. This type of lawsuit, in essence, will seek indemnity for the loss of the survivor, including –

  • The issue of lost wages.
  • Losing their companionship.
  • The expense for conducting the funeral, etc.

Usually, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the family of the deceased individual. However, if someone doesn’t have any relatives per se, their foremost friends or the people close to them can also claim the same.

»Additional Resources: How to Avoid the Pitfalls That Court-Goers Often Face in Orange County, California

When Can Wrongful Death Claims Be Applicable?

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According to Marks & Harrison, the claim for wrongful death can arise after someone, who could’ve had a viable personal injury claim, is killed due to the defendant’s action. Such a scenario can occur in several situations, including –

Scenario – 1: When The Person Is Killed Intentionally.

The case of O.J. Simpson can be an excellent example of this scenario, where he was sued for the wrongful deaths of Ronal Goldman and Nicole Brown. The lawsuit was brought on by both the family of the victim and the state court.

Scenario – 2: When The Person Loses Their Life In An Accident.

If a victim passes away due to an accident, their family can bring in a wrongful death filing. It can also be filed if the individual loses their life after filing a personal injury lawsuit. But, this situation is quite rare and tends to fall in the court of the family of the victim.

Scenario – 3: When The Person Dies Due to A Medical Error.

If a doctor is careless in their treatment or fails to diagnose their patient’s condition, they’ll get sued for wrongful death claims. However, the aspect of medical malpractice can be pretty convoluted. Hence, if you don’t provide the proper evidence, the doctor might get away with it.

Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims?

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In essence, any family member of the deceased can file wrongful death claims. The list of people may consist of –

  • The surviving spouse or children.
  • Surviving siblings, if the person does not have any child or a spouse.
  • The personal administrator or representative of the deceased’s estate.
  • The surviving parents of the person, if the individual was financially dependent on them when they passed away.

In any case, the statute for wrongful death may vary from one state to another. So, before you make a claim, be sure to talk with an attorney first.

Wrong Death Lawsuit – The Core Elements

Wrong Death Lawsuit - The Core Elements

In case you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to present a set of documents. And, you have to present a few elements too, including –

  • The death of an individual.
  • The negligence of the defendant or their intent to cause harm to the late individual.
  • Financial injuries, related to the person’s death, for the members of their family.
  • Appointing a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.

Remember, you have to file the case of a wrongful death within the time limit provided by your state. The duration will begin from the time when the investigation began. Thus, you’ll get enough time to create the story, investigate the background of the case, and file it.

Is It Difficult To Prove Wrongful Death Claims?

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In essence, the issue of wrongful death can be pretty difficult to prove, especially if you’ve no idea of where to begin. Hence, if you’re unaware of the same, make sure to hire a good lawyer right away.

Owing to their experience, they’ll know where to look appropriately and find the proper evidence to fortify your case. The aspects they may want to check will include –

  • Medical records of the individual.
  • Report of the accident, whether it’s caused by a vehicle or by a physician.
  • The testimony of the eye-witnesses.
  • The follow-through of an expert witness.

If possible, you may try asking the lawyer to do a little digging-up about the background of the case. It’ll help them unearth other information that they mightn’t have found elsewhere.

Determining The Amount Of Wrongful Death Claims

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The settlement of wrongful death claims will be based on the overall value of the economic and the non-economic losses of the family. It may include –

  • The medical bills of the deceased.
  • The amount of wages they’ve lost.
  • The lost future income and other financial benefits.
  • Loss of care and emotional support from the dead.

Nonetheless, you will only get the aforesaid claims if your lawyer has presented and won the case successfully.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we’ll clarify the titular topic a little more in case you have any confusion or anything as such. Let’s get started, then.

1. What Makes Something A Wrongful Death?

The issue ofwrongful death claims can arise when someone has passed away due to another person’s misconduct or negligence. This situation can be handled with both a wrongful death or a criminal prosecution. However, in the case of the latter, you will not be able to claim any financial support from the person responsible.

2. What Are The Different Types Of Wrongful Deaths?

In essence, the most common type of wrongful death is – a car accident. But, in some cases, a case of medical malpractice or accidents at work can be considered the same as well. If someone dies from a pedestrian accident, you can file a claim of wrongful death for them too.

The Final Say

So, there you go. That’s going to be all for this article today. If you need any more help or assistance regarding the same, make sure to tell us about it in the comment section below. We’ll try to help you out in any way we can.


If we’re late at replying, make sure to talk to a professional attorney instead. They can offer a better viewpoint regarding the case and help you win your claim efficiently.

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