If your loved one died due to negligence or misconduct of another party you have a right to file for wrongful death. The negligent party needs to compensate the immediate people to the deceased for damages resulting in the untimely death of their loved ones.  If you are the deceased life partner, dependent, spouse or immediate family, you can file for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Elements of wrongful death lawsuit

1) Negligence

The plaintiff needs to provide concrete evidence in a court of law that the defendant was negligent and contributed to the death of their loved one. The defendant may have caused the death in part or whole due to their recklessness. The accused may be a  government agency, individual or company.  Parties that can be responsible for negligence include:

  • Drunk drivers or motorists
  • A reckless medical practitioner
  • The designer of a defective structure
  • Manufacturer of faulty products
  • A government agency that does not warn their employees about hazard places and situations.

2) Breach of duty and causation of death

If the defendant violated their duties and caused the end of your loved one, you need to hold them accountable. For instance, if a driver does not follow the road rules and drives carelessly leading to the death of your loved one, you need to file for wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, if a doctor offered the wrong medication or failed to treat the deceased, the doctor’s breach of duty directly or indirectly caused the death of your loved one.  In a court of law, you need to vividly elaborate how the violation of duty led to the loss of life.

3) Damages

The death of the person must have caused injuries in the life of the deceased and the family. The injuries must have led to financial losses and emotional distress in the life of the dead or survivors. The damages may include:

  • Loss of lifetime wages
  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • General damages
  • Punitive damages
  • Anguish in the presence of the survivors
  • Loss of inheritance

The high damages should be apparent for you to earn compensation. However, you need an attorney to represent you as it is a lengthy process. Though the reward is not equivalent to the psychological suffering and anguish you suffered due to the death of your loved one, it will help you to survive in the short term and long term. Especially where the deceased was the breadwinner, financial constraints will often affect the family.

Bottom Line

The wrongful death of your loved one will be traumatizing to you and your family. You need to get justice for the death of your loved one that was caused by a negligent party. A court of law often demands the defendant to monetary compensate the plaintiff and foot in by paying the medical and funeral expenses of the deceased.

Obtaining substantial evidence on how the defendant fully or partially caused the death of the loved one is essential to win the lawsuit. Hiring an attorney is vital to ensure you get justice for the wrongful death of your loved one.