Personal Injury Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If a person dies or is killed due to the negligence of another, the surviving family members of the victim may sue for wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims come from several situations, including criminal behavior, vehicle or airplane accidents, occupational exposure to chemicals, medical malpractice, and death during a managed activity. Wrongful death lawsuits are labeled as a civil trial that uses “Standard of Proof” evidence, which is a level of certainty and degree of evidence necessary to establish proof in a civil proceeding.
To pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, the following must be present:
- The death of a person caused by another’s negligence, or with intent to cause harm
- The surviving family members who are suffering monetary injury from the death
- A personal representative for the deceased’s estate.
Pecuniary injury, also known as financial injury, is typically how damages of wrongful death are measured. Courts identify monetary injuries as loss of support, services, medical, and/or funeral expenses. To determine the amount of financial injury incurred, courts consider age, character, life expectancy, health, and the circumstances at the time of death. After consideration, the jury determines the amount of damages awarded based on the evidence. Keep in mind that their word is not final, and the award may be increased or decreased by the court if they have valid reasons.
Punitive damages are awarded in situations where serious or malicious wrongdoings occurred to punish the victim. They can only be given if it’s first proven that the victim is liable for pecuniary damages.
Wrongful death lawsuits are very can be very intimidating and emotional to go through, which is why it’s so important to work with a personal injury lawyer during this difficult time. Let us review your case and help guide you through the process for a smooth trial.