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An Overview of Wrongful Death Claims

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2019 | Legal Resources

You are eligible to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one dies as a result of the negligence of another person. Wrongful death claims allow for a representative or close family member of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the negligent party for the damages from those legally liable for their death. Here, the personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Peter Angelos Law discuss a wrongful death claim, and what legal rights to which you are entitled.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

As stated, wrongful death claims can be filed as a result of negligence, including medical malpractice or car accidents, other negligent circumstances, or when a victim is intentionally killed. Wrongful death lawsuits seek damages to cover loss of wages, companionship or expenses that have been placed on the family after the victim’s death. Specific criteria must be met for a wrongful death claim to be proven as well. For example, in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care and that it subsequently caused the victim’s death. In addition to economic damages from medical bills or funeral costs, or the loss of financial support, individuals may also seek to receive compensation from loss of consortium, companionship and guidance.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In a wrongful death claim, only certain parties can sue including certain family members, financial dependents, and others who suffered financially. Immediate family members, including spouses and children, can take action against another party. Furthermore, certain states allow for life partners and financial dependents to be entitled to a wrongful death claim, even if they were not legally married to the victim. Distant family members, including grandparents, can file a wrongful death claim in some cases. For example, if a grandparent was raising a child and that child was wrongfully killed, those individuals would have the right to sue. Finally, individuals who were financially affected by the victim’s death may file, even if they were not directly related to the victim.

Who Can Be Sued In a Wrongful Death Claim?

Numerous individuals or corporations may be sued in a wrongful death claim, depending on the nature of the case and the impact on the family of the victim. For example, in a case of negligence, such as a car accident caused by recklessness, the driver who caused the accident can face a lawsuit. If fault is not entirely on the driver, the manufacturer of the car that may have had faulty parts, or the corporation that did not provide adequate signage to make the public aware of potential hazards, can also be sued. On a larger scale, a medical malpractice wrongful death claim can bring fault to the individual doctor, healthcare team, hospital or manufacturer of the device that ultimately leads to the victim’s death.

Discuss Your Options With a Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorney at Peter Angelos Law

Negligent or intentional acts by an individual or corporation that leads to a tragic death can open the door for the victim’s loved ones to file a wrongful death claim. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death at the hands of negligence, knowing your rights can ensure your family is compensated for the financial and emotional distress suffered. The team of personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Peter Angelos Law are dedicated to serving individuals who have suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of wrongful death. To discuss your options, contact Peter Angelos Law today.