Legal Guide

How Can Wrongful Death Law Affect You?

When a loved one dies because of the negligence or intentional actions of another person, surviving family members may have the right to file wrongful death lawsuits. These lawsuits are filed by family members in order to recover damages for their loss. Wrongful death lawsuits are also referred to as “stand-alone” or “noncontributory” damages. This is because they are not based on any financial obligations that the decedent might have had at the time of their death, but rather on intangible damages that resulted from the decedent’s death. Below you will find information related to wrongful death law and how it can affect you in different ways if a loved one dies due to another person’s negligence or intentional actions.

What is Wrongful Death Law?

A wrongful death suit is a civil action that is brought by the decedent’s family members against the person who causes or is responsible for the death. A wrongful death action is not an attempt to criminal charges against the defendant, rather it is a civil lawsuit based on negligence or intentional actions that cause death. A wrongful death attorney can help you with this type of cases. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family members of the deceased person are the plaintiffs and the defendant is either the person who caused the death or the person who was responsible for the death.

How Can Wrongful Death Law Affect You?

If a loved one dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. Let’s take a look at a few examples of how wrongful death law can affect you.

Wrongful Death Law Can Affect Your Finances

If a loved one dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person and you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for your financial loss related to your loved one’s death. In most cases, the damages that you are entitled to are not based on the decedent’s obligation to make financial support payments to you, such as child support or spousal support, but rather on your intangible damages.

Wrongful Death Law Can Affect Your Health

If a loved one dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, and you are in good health, you may not feel any negative effects from the death. However, if you are in poor health and your loved one’s death has left you without a spouse, child, or other immediate family member who can provide you with health care, you may feel the effects of the death. In any case, a wrongful death lawsuit can help you by providing compensation for your medical bills and other health care expenses.

Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful Death Lawsuits based on Negligence

If a loved one dies due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In order to bring such a lawsuit, you must be able to prove that the defendant owed a duty to the deceased person, that the defendant was negligent in the way that he or she carried out that duty, and that the negligent actions led to the death of the loved one.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits based on Intentional Acts

If a loved one dies as a result of another person’s intentional acts, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In order to bring such a lawsuit, you must be able to prove that the defendant intended to cause the death of the loved one.

Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The damages that surviving family members are entitled to in a wrongful death lawsuit can vary greatly depending on the specifics of each case. In general, the damages that surviving family members are entitled to in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

The Deceased Person’s Lost Income

If the deceased person was employed at the time of their death and would have continued working had they not died, surviving family members are entitled to damages for the deceased person’s lost income.

The Deceased Person’s Medical Expenses

If the deceased person suffered from a disease or medical condition that led to their death, surviving family members are entitled to damages for the deceased person’s medical expenses.

The Deceased Person’s Loss of Earning Capacity

If the deceased person would have worked until a certain age and would have earned a lot of money during that time, surviving family members are entitled to damages for the deceased person’s loss of earning capacity.

The Value of the Deceased Person’s Services

If the deceased person was unsalaried and provided services for the family, such as care for a child or household chores, surviving family members are entitled to damages for the value of those services.

Conclusion

When a loved one dies due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, surviving family members may have the right to file wrongful death lawsuits. These lawsuits are filed by family members in order to recover damages for their loss. Wrongful death lawsuits are also referred to as “stand-alone” or “noncontributory” damages. This is because they are not based on any financial obligations that the decedent might have had at the time of their death, but rather on intangible damages that resulted from the decedent’s death.


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