Demystifying Wrongful Death Claims


A lawsuit for wrongful death arises when one person dies because of another person's fault. These claims apply to fatal accidents. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about a wrongful death claim.

What Do You Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim?

To succeed in making a wrongful death claim involving an auto accident, you need to prove three elements. Firstly, you need to show the person who caused the accident had a duty of care. This means the accused party had a responsibility to act reasonably by driving safely.

Secondly, you have to show that the defendant breached their duty of care. For example, in auto accidents, a breach of duty may arise if the driver was texting and driving and was distracted, leading to the accident.

Lastly, you need to prove causation. This means you need to show the fatality was a direct result of the car accident.

Who Can File a Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit should be made by a representative of the deceased's survivors. The survivors are those who stand to suffer from the decedent's death. In many cases, the executor of a will or estate represents the deceased's survivors.

The survivors of the deceased include their family members, life partners, and spouses. They also include financial dependents and anyone who would suffer financially from the person's death. Since the laws on wrongful death claims vary depending on the state, your auto accident lawyer will advise you on whether you have a legitimate claim.

What Compensation Is Awarded for a Wrongful Death Claim?

You can claim non-economic and economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Examples of economic damages are medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, and out-of-pocket expenses. It's advisable to have an expert evaluate the decedent's life expectancy to determine the lost earnings.

Examples of non-economic damages are pain and suffering. In some jurisdictions, you may be able to claim punitive damages. This applies to situations where the decedent died because of the defendant's gross negligence. The damages will start accruing interest from the date the decedent passed away.

Who Can Be Sued for a Wrongful Death Claim?

In an auto accident, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident may be sued. Other defendants include the designer of a faulty roadway where the accident occurred and the manufacturer of dangerous car parts. A government agent who fails to issue sufficient warnings about a potential road hazard may also be sued.

However, some people may be immune to a wrongful death lawsuit. These include government employees and agencies. Your auto accident attorney will know who to sue based on the laws of your state.

Contact a car accident attorney to learn more.


17 May 2021

Working With A Lawyer

If you are injured in an accident, what is your first move? While getting medical care should be your first priority, the fact of the matter is that working with the right lawyer can be incredibly helpful in making it easier to prevent problems. For starters, your lawyer can talk with you about what to do in order to prevent problems with your paperwork, and he or she can chat with you about what to do when you start getting calls from other attorneys talking about the case. On this website, check out great tips and tricks you can use to prevent problems with your recovery from a financial perspective.