Wrongful death lawsuits are generally filed by the surviving family members and loved ones of those who have died due to the negligence of others. They are like personal injury lawsuits in that the party filing the lawsuit must prove negligence to win the case. There are several types of situations where people may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are a few common examples.
If the death was caused by a negligent driver in car crash.
If a person dies as the result of a car crash where the other driver was clearly at fault, then depending on the laws of the state, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. For example, if a driver is killed after being hit by someone who was driving under the influence, the family of the deceased driver may file a wrongful death claim, since the second driver was clearly being negligent by driving while intoxicated.
If the death was caused by medical malpractice.
When people seek out medical care, they rightfully expect the medical personnel or medical organization to provide a safe level of care without medical negligence. Unfortunately, many people still die each year because of medical negligence, and in these cases, the surviving family members of these individuals will sometimes file a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits generally require an expert medical witness to demonstrate that the death was caused by medical negligence.
If the death was caused by exposure to hazardous substances or work conditions.
When a person agrees to work for a company, he or she rightfully expects safe work conditions. Unfortunately, many workers are hurt every year due to negligence on the part of their employers, and some of them are even killed, which leads to their loved ones filing wrongful death lawsuits. A good example of this is the wrongful death lawsuits filed by the families of victims of asbestos exposure, who died of mesothelioma. Many of the companies exposing workers to asbestos knew the risks and did not inform their employees.
If the death was caused by criminal behavior.
Wrongful death claims can also be filed if someone loses a loved one due to the criminal behavior of another individual. These cases can be filed if a loved one is murdered, but they can also be filed if a loved one is harmed by some other type of criminal activity. For example, if someone was killed due to being a bystander in a robbery, that individual’s family could file a wrongful death claim.
These are not the only reasons that people file wrongful death claims. If you feel you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you should check on the laws in your state and perhaps speak to an expert attorney who can help you see whether you have a case. As John Demas, a Wrongful Death Attorney in Sacramento explains, while no one can make up for the loss of your loved one, you deserve compensation to take stress from you and your family as you process your loss.