Wrongful death lawsuits are a kind of personal injury lawsuit that can only be made when an individual dies as a result of another person’s fault or negligence. It not only seeks compensation for the survivor’s losses in terms of wages and funeral expenses but also tries to find justice for them.
Wrongful death cases include various types of accidents, such as medical malpractices, car accidents, and product liability cases. For example, governmental agencies, persons, manufacturers, and companies can be at fault for acting intentionally, unintentionally, and negligently resulting in the death of a loved one.
While the right to file a lawsuit for death is new, every state in the US now has some death law. However, this law varies from state to state. Therefore, it’s essential to discuss personal circumstances with your lawyer to understand the options available in your country.
Intentional and unintentional wrongful death cases
Wrongful deaths can either be intentional or unintentional as long as both cause injuries that lead to the death of an individual. For example, if your partner argues with a co-worker who bashes them in the head with a hammer, it’s categorized as intentional. Hence, if the injuries result in death, you can file for a death claim for compensation of the damages caused.
Alternatively, if a person forgets to enclose a swimming pool, resulting in the death of a child, their actions are unintentional. But, you can sue them for negligence and wrongful death. Unfortunately, wrongful death lawsuits don’t apply to unborn fetuses since they have no legal status until they are born.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A representative can file a death claim on behalf of the survivors that suffer damage from a person’s death. They include:
• Financial dependents and life partners – in some states, if you are financially dependent on the deceased or are a life partner, you have a right for compensation.
• Immediate family members – spouses, children (including adopted), and parents of unmarried kids can file for death claims.
• Distant family members – brothers, grandparents, and sisters can recover from wrongful death actions in some states.
It’s vital to note that these laws vary from state to state, and the more distant your family relationship is to the deceased, the more challenging it can be to file for a wrongful death lawsuit. The best approach, therefore, is to hire an attorney to help you understand the wrongful death laws in San Diego and the entire Southern California region.
What is proven when filing a wrongful death lawsuit?
In the case of negligence, a plaintiff should be able to meet the proof required for a defendant to be liable for a death claim. Negligence means that the defendant was supposed to provide the deceased with deserved care, and they didn’t, resulting in the death of your loved one.
For instance, a construction manager fails to provide adequate warnings to employees regarding potential work hazards on their site, causing the death of your loved one. Such negligence shows the manager didn’t perform their duties as required resulting in the death of a victim.
When it comes to negligence in wrongful death claims, there are various categories including;
• Proving duty
• Proving breach of duty
• Proving the damages
• Proving the defendant caused the accident
Losing a loved one due to the negligence of another person or party can cause pain and suffering to you and your family. You can file a wrongful death claim to hold them liable and receive compensation for your loss.
At Guy Levy Law, we can help you file for death claims for your deceased loved one. Call us today to get a free consultation.