Wrongful death lawsuits are some of the most complex and emotionally draining cases, both for lawyers and the parties involved. This is why it is so important for people to have a real understanding of what situations can merit filing a wrongful death suit. This information can not only make the process easier to understand, but it also prevents a lot of unnecessary suffering for individuals who file a case thinking they have a claim, but end up getting nothing in return.
Here are three major elements that must be found in every situation in order for it to become a wrongful death suit.
It is absolutely crucial that the involvement of an individual, group of individuals or company be established if a wrongful death suit is to proceed. If something horrible happens to a person, but you cannot prove the involvement of the other party, there is no wrongful death suit.
For example, someone drinks a can of soda and drops dead five hours later. If it is found that the soda contained unsafe and toxic chemicals, a wrongful death suit is possible. If the soda was found to be a normal can of soda that did not pose an immediate risk to the person, there is no grounds for a lawsuit.
2. Negligence or Wrongful Acts
Even if there is a link between the event and another party, it is up to the wrongful death claimants to prove that there was negligence or wrongful doing on the part of the other party.
We can continue with our first example here. If the person died soon after consuming a can of soda, but it was found that they were deathly allergic to one of the substances in the soda, it could be argued that the other party committed no negligence or wrongful act. If the person in question had simply read the list of ingredients on the can, they would still be alive.
3. Extent of Damage –
These lawsuits are not filed purely because of emotional trauma. While emotional trauma does play a role, it must be combined with real financial losses that you are seeking compensation for. In the first example, there would be medical expenses and funeral costs for the person who died suddenly. If this person was the primary income generator in their family, there are additional lost expenses. And finally, there is the emotional loss of the person no longer being in their family’s life, which is also considered by the court.