If you are searching for answers regarding wrongful death, you can find solace in the law. Wrongful death can be described as a death by negligence. These deaths can occur at the hand of someone else’s negligence and can result in difficult cases. Unfortunately, there are many examples of negligence within a wrongful death case. These can include deaths that are caused by misconduct, simple negligence and even murder. To determine if your case is a case of wrongful death, there are parameters it must meet to be considered.
Elements of a Wrongful Death
As stated, there are elements that a wrongful death must have before it is considered. These elements include:
- Obviously, a wrongful death case must include the death of a human being. This can include immediate death or death later on from injuries that were inflicted or sustained.
- Negligence or intent
- This death must be caused by negligence or intent to harm the individual. This can include murder or homicide as well, not just simple negligence on the other’s part.
- Monetary Injury
- There must be family or loved ones who are suffering monetary damages or injuries due to the death of the individual. There also must be a family member who is appointed as a personal representative or power of attorney for the victim’s assets.
- If all of these elements are met, a wrongful death case can be opened, of course depending on the actual cause of death.
Examples of Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
There are several types of wrongful death cases that have arose, most of them involving negligence in some way, except in the case of murder. Negligence can be described as the failure to use care reasonably to prevent damage, harm or injury to someone else. Examples of negligence in wrongful death are as follows:
- Death resulting from a supervised activity
- Motor vehicle accident
- Airplane accident or crash
- Exposure to hazardous conditions or substances within occupation
- Medical malpractice
- Action resulting from criminal behavior
You can see these examples in several famous court rulings. For example, the wrongful death of Phil and Brynn Hartman. Brynn shot her husband Phil and then proceeded to commit suicide. Brynn had been taking Zoloft for her depression at the time of the incident. Her family filed a wrongful death claim against the company Pfizer, the manufacturer of the drug. This case was settled. We can see another example in the case of Aaliyah, a young R&B singer who died in a plane crash. Her family filed a wrongful death claim against different parties involved including the airline as well as Virgin Records. They alleged that Virgin hired a company that had been cited four years in a row. The accident happened on the pilot’s first day with the company and he also had charges against him for cocaine. This case was also confidentially settled in 2003.
What Can You Do?
If you believe your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, there is a process you can follow, depending on your state.
In All States
In all states, a person can file a wrongful death claim for a spouse, a minor child or the minor child can seek a claim for the death of a parent.
In Some States
In some states, relatives of the victim are allowed to seek damages. Some states allow the parents, siblings and grandparents to seek damages on the victim.
If you feel you meet these parameters, you can seek the advice of a professional and licensed attorney who can guide you through the steps you should take next depending on the laws within your state. Although the damages cannot replace the loss of your loved one, you will be able to replace financial loss. In the case for medical malpractice and product negligence, you may be able to further the actions taken to promote product safety. Whatever you decide, an attorney can aid you in the process and make sure you receive what is rightfully yours.