Wrongful death is a civil action brought by family members against someone who has caused the death of another due to a wrongful act. Wrongful acts include negligence, like careless driving. To succeed in a wrongful death action, the cause of death must be because of another person’s negligence or misconduct.
There are a multitude of situations and circumstances during which someone’s negligence can cause the death of someone else. Some examples include medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, product manufacturing defects, or criminal activity. Situations like these occur every day across the country.
You can take legal action to sue the person who is liable for the negligent acts or omissions. Each state has its own laws that govern negligence liability. The process for obtaining compensation through the legal system will vary. Eligible family members can even contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer to represent them during settlement negotiations and at hearings.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims
The following are common reasons family members choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Automobile accidents: This is one of the leading causes. Distracted driving, drunken driving, and speeding are everyday situations that often lead to catastrophic accidents. Reckless and careless driving may lead to the loss of life of an individual. According to the data, more than 36,000 people in the United States died in car accidents in 2019.
- Motorcycle accidents: Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of experiencing a severe accident than other vehicles. Some families have also lost children in motorcycle accidents. If a child injury results in death, you may be able to sue the negligent party. Unfortunately, accidents frequently happen on roadways and often lead to the unfortunate death of those riding the motorcycle. When an individual is negligent, they should be held liable for their wrongful acts.
- Airplane accidents: Pilots have a duty towards passengers. Just like bus drivers or any other type of common carrier, they should not fly the plane under the influence of alcohol, overly fatigued, or without proper training and vehicle maintenance. If there is an equipment malfunction, the company should take care of it before the plane is operational. The negligence of the airline company and the person’s death may take a toll on the emotional well-being of family members.
- Medical malpractice: There are situations when medical professionals fail to provide requisite medical care under the circumstances. The requisite standard of care is the level of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional in the same medical community would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice. Malpractice may result in a severe injury or even death.
- Product liability: The designers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of commercial products have a duty to design products carefully and in a manner that is not harmful to the end use when used for its designed purpose. Governmental guidelines must be followed to reduce the risk of harm from their products. A defective design or failed manufacturing process can lead to the untimely death of an individual.
- Accidents at work: Explosions, burns, and equipment malfunctioning at workplaces can lead to the death of employees. Employers must implement necessary safety precautions to save their employees from hazardous situations. Construction sites, manufacturing plants, mining locations, chemical industries are workplaces that require extra safety.
- Truck accidents: Trucks are much heavier in terms of weight and size. As a result, an accident involving a truck is more likely to lead to fatal injuries. More than 4,000 people died in truck accidents in 2019, whereas many others suffered critical injuries.
The Emotional Impact on Families
Losing a loved one can be absolutely devastating. It may take an emotional toll on the surviving family member’s mental health. At times, family members experience their own form of trauma due to the loss of a loved one.
- Losing a loved one often causes emotional distress.
It can have catastrophic emotional and economic results for the victim and their families. In addition, the family members may suffer emotional trauma due to the loss of a loved one.
- Losing a loved one can cause a state of emotional and mental pain.
The pain of losing a loved one can be unbearable. Family members may suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other serious mental health conditions that detrimentally impact their lives.
Surviving Members Are Entitled to Compensation
When someone passes away because of another party’s negligence, reckless, willful, or wanton acts, certain surviving family members have the option to file a lawsuit. Spouses and dependents may be able to file a lawsuit against the person who was allegedly responsible for the death.
In many cases, a lawsuit is the only means of obtaining financial support after losing a parent or spouse. A knowledgeable, experienced attorney who understands and empathizes with your situation will be able to assist you in getting the just compensation that you deserve.
Here are some of the main reasons why family members should pursue a claim:
- Protecting your financial recovery
Family members may suffer financial stress and find it difficult to survive without additional financial support. You should know that you have the right to take legal action. Filing a lawsuit will get the money that you need to pay medical bills and funeral costs. In addition, you can file a claim against the person responsible to recover all the financial losses you have suffered.
- Protecting lost income
The pain of losing a loved one cannot be measured. If the person was the sole breadwinner, family members might struggle to survive. A successful lawsuit can provide you with compensation to make up for the lost income of the deceased.
- Protecting your emotional loss
Family members will have to live with the pain of their loss for the remainder of their lives. Filing a lawsuit will help the family recover for such damages.
But before filing the application, or taking any legal step, it is always better to consult a reputable Philadelphia personal injury attorney. They know how to file a strong claim, obtain relevant evidence, depose witnesses and provide any other legal assistance necessary to win your claim. Contact an attorney today and get justice for the loss of your loved one.