The death of a loved one is hard enough to face between mourning, planning a funeral and dealing with leftover costs and bills. Added complications, like a case of wrongful death, only makes the situation more difficult to navigate, but it’s important to understand your rights as a survivor of someone killed due to another’s negligent actions. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can recover financial support that may have been dependent on the decedent.

What Comprises Wrongful Death

Wrongful death applies to a person killed because of another’s recklessness, carelessness, omission of fault, or intentional action. An individual, group or company can be sued for causing negligent death. Laws vary among states, making it essential to understand the ones in your state before determining your next steps.

Common Causes

There are a variety of ways wrongful death can occur, whether it is due to a drunk driver or a company that exposes its employees to asbestos. Attorney’s have dealt with the following wrongful death cases, among many others:

    • Automobile and motorcycle accidents
    • Medical malpractice
    • Anesthesia malpractice
    • Unsafe workplaces
    • Murder
    • Nursing home negligence
  • Animal bites

If you are unsure if your situation counts as a wrongful death case, consult a lawyer for help and advice.

Damages That Can Be Claimed

When someone is killed because of another, the survivors are left with a sudden loss of potential income and companionship, and may have to cover costs of remaining medical bills and the funeral. These, and any dependency a survivor had on the decedent, such as care and financial support, become damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensation for these are paid out to the survivors, and while it cannot replace a loved one, it can help lift the financial and emotional burden left behind. The victim’s pain and suffering can also be factored into compensation.

Survival Action Claims

As part of a wrongful death lawsuit, survival action claims act similarly to if a living victim were filing a personal injury lawsuit, in which case he or she would claim damages of pain and suffering because of the injury, and any lost income due to an inability to work. In wrongful death where the victim is already deceased, a survival action claims any pain, suffering and loss of income the victim endured between the injury and time of death.

Seeking out a wrongful death lawyer can be your best option when tackling this complex and sensitive issue. Consider researching their past experiences, cases and biographies to find a good fit for you, and leave them with the burden of the case while you handle more immediate and important matters.