Wrongful death is a crime categorized by the death of an individual who died as a result of the negligence or the conduct of another. Wrongful death can include murder. When the surviving family of the victim feel that their loved one was the target of wrongful death, they can sue the alleged party. In general, wrongful death lawsuits would take place after a criminal trial, when the family has had time to acquire a wrongful death attorney. A trial of this nature would use similar evidence, however a lower standard of proof would be necessary.
If an individual is found liable of wrongful death, there is the possibility that the individual may also be convicted of a crime.
Families considering a wrongful death lawsuit should understand that the suit can be executed by a personal representative of the deceased who is representing their estate. A wrongful death attorney can help families understand the wrongful death statutes of their specific state, as each state has its own statutes and procedures for bringing about wrongful death actions.
Elements of a Wrongful Death
There are certain elements that a wrongful death attorney will look for to establish whether or not a wrongful death law suit is appropriate for your family’s situation.
- A human death
- Proof of negligence by another individual
- Proof of intent to cause harm by another individual
- Proof that the surviving family members are enduring monetary injury because of the death
Types of Wrongful Death
There are many situations that can result in wrongful death, including but not limited to:
- Medical malpractice
- Automobile accident
- Airplane accident
- Occupational hazards
- Criminal actions
In many cases, family members can hope to receive recompense for their injuries financially. Most courts will recognize pecuniary injuries to include the loss of support, income, medical and funeral expenses that the family incurred as a result of the passing of their loved one.