What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a lawsuit that focuses on a person dying due to the misconduct or negligence of a third person or party. Wrongful death suits intend to help the survivors carry on after the death of a person, compensating survivors for lost companionship, funeral expenses, and lost wages the deceased provided.

While wrongful death can be slightly different depending on the state, there are some elements that all wrongful death suits have in common. According to FindLaw, these include the components of a wrongful death case, as well as the types of compensation.

Wrongful death components

In order to have a basis for a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show four general conditions. The first is that somebody must be dead. The second is that the death was the result of an intent to cause harm to the deceased, or negligence that led to said death. The third is that there are family members who are suffering monetarily on account of the death. The last is that there must be a representative that represents the estate of the deceased.

Wrongful death compensation

Financial injury is what the court will measure damages against in a wrongful death case. There are plenty of interpretations of this depending on the case, but it could include everything from lost inheritance prospects to loss of support. Wrongful death cases also involve interest, depending on how long the wrongful death case takes and how long ago the death took place.

Losing a loved one is always hard. Losing financial support is also very tough. While the courts cannot help with the first, they often can with the second.