Wrongful death lawsuits are a lot more common than you may think, and in fact, they make up a large portion of personal injury lawsuits in general. Many people are still a bit unclear on how wrongful death cases actually work, so let’s go over a few of the basics and figure out exactly what wrongful death lawsuits entail:
- Wrongful death refers to someone who experienced a personal injury as a result of another person’s gross negligence or intentional harmful act, and that personal injury was serious enough to be fatal. Obviously the victim can’t sue the person responsible, but if the victim’s family members and close relations feel that his or her death should be prosecuted in court, they can file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Wrongful death isn’t the same thing as homicide in a court of law; homicide refers to the physical crime, whereas wrongful death lawsuits refer to the civil lawsuit filed to compensate the surviving family members of the victim.
- These personal injury lawsuits can apply to situations where the person was intentionally killed, but they often also apply to situations like medical malpractice and car accident fatalities.
- The family members filing the claim must still show burden of proof when seeking compensation under wrongful death laws; this is similar to how an injured victim (still alive) would be required under personal injury laws to show personal injury liability before receiving financial compensation.
- Of course, no one ever files a wrongful death lawsuit because they believe that a certain amount of money will make up for the loss of a loved one. But wrongful death settlements can ease the financial burden that the victim’s family is facing, since things like medical treatment and funeral services can be expensive.