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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Understanding Wrongful Death Claims

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A wrongful death suit can be brought about from numerous actions including but not limited to medical malpractice, product liability and more. In simple terms, a wrongful death lawsuit alleges the victim was killed as the result of negligence. In such cases, the next of kin, or surviving spouse can file a wrongful death action on behalf of the deceased.

Elements of a wrongful death claim

While each state has a form of wrongful death claim action they adhere too, they follow the same general principles which are outlined below.

  1. The death was caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of the defendant; (2) the defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death; (3) there is a surviving spouse, children, dependents or beneficiaries; and (4) monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death.

Types of Damages

Damages can include medical bills, future earnings, and loss of companionship, pain and suffering and in some cases, punitive damages.

Who Can Be Sued For Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death suit can be brought against employees, companies, persons and even government agencies. For instance, a truck accident that involved a faulty roadway might include the designer or builder of the faulty roadway. In the case of a drunk driver, the owner of the premises where the alcohol was served could be held liable and so on.

Wrongful Death Damages

Calculating damages can be complicated and involves the use of expert witnesses. The process takes into consideration income and benefits earned outside of the home, but also monetary value of services and care provided in the home.

Wrongful Death Statue of Limitations

Statutes of Limitation refers to a period in which a wrongful death action can be brought. Each state has different limits. But, generally speaking, the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of action.