A wrongful death occurs when a person, company, or other entity acts negligently, carelessly, or recklessly to cause the death of a person. A wrongful death claim must be filed by a representative on behalf of the survivors who suffer damage from the decedent’s death. The representative is usually the executor of the decedent’s estate.
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Wrongful Death is a claim against a person who can be held liable for a death. The claim is brought in a civil action, usually by a representative survivor because the dead person cannot bring a suit.
Represented survivors, those who can file a wrongful death action for a deceased include:
- Immediate family members: spouses, children (including adopted), parents of unmarried children, financial dependents, and domestic or life partners.
- Distant family members: brothers, sisters, and grandparents, who suffer financially for lost care or support.
Causes of Wrongful Death
- Defective Drugs: pharmaceutical companies who fail to notify the FDA, physicians and consumers of dangerous defects or companies that knowingly hide serious side effects.
- Defective Products: failure by a manufacturer or company to notify others of a defect in a product.
- Medical Malpractice: doctors and hospitals medical mistakes and incorrect diagnoses.
- Toxic Poisoning: companies or employers who expose others to hazardous substances that result in illnesses and diseases; including respiratory disease, blindness, hearing loss, mesothelioma and other types of cancer.
- Accidents: defective vehicles and negligent driving resulting in someone’s death.
- Auto Accidents: personal injuries causing death often from a driver convicted of driving under the influence.
- SUV Accidents: roll-overs resulting in death caused by a manufacturer’s defective product.
- Van Accidents: vehicles carrying a number of passengers are more likely to result in death from a roll-over.
- Bus Accidents: death from injuries involving tour bus operators who have worked extensive hours.
- Boat Accidents: watercraft injuries resulting in death from alcohol abuse, carelessness, reckless operation, excessive speed and operator inattention.
- Drowning: children who die in swimming pools, spas and Jacuzzis as a result of another party’s negligence or a manufacturing defect.
- Slip and Fall: injuries sustained while on another’s property that result in death.
Wrongful Death Recovery
The recovery from a negligent party, for the loss of a loved-one, can include the following:
- Compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Compensation for your loss of companionship.
- Loss of decedent’s earnings.
- Present and future financial losses.
- Out of pocket expenses.
- Reimbursement for medical payments.
- Reimbursement for burial and funeral expenses.
Amount of Recovery
The amount of your recovery for a wrongful death action will depend on the following factors:
- The age and physical condition of the decedent.
- The health and life expectancy of the decedent.
- The financial loss to dependent family members.
- The relationship to other family members.
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