The issue of wrongful death is pretty common, especially in the USA. According to CNBC, almost 250,000 people tend to lose their lives due to medical errors. And, for some reason, the number of the same keeps increasing every year.
Let’s be honest, though.
Losing someone close to your heart due to an individual’s negligence or mistake can be pretty frustrating yet saddening at first. But, if you want to get back to them, suing them legally will be the best possible option for you.
And that’s where the aspect of wrongful death action comes in. Keep reading this article till the end to learn more about it. You may also hit up the lawyers at Marks & Harrison to learn about their thoughts in this regard.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
When it comes to filing a wrongful death claim, you can opt for two different approaches. Each of them is pretty individualistic in their way of working, so knowing about them briefly will be ideal for you.
1. The Historical Approach
There was a time when an individual could not file any civil lawsuit over the death of someone else. However, the perpetrator, who prompted the issue, would encounter the consequences of the wrong-doing through the criminal law process.
In simple words, even if you’re the only family member of the person who passed away, you still could not file a claim. Unfortunately, as an unintended course of this rule, it’d be more beneficial if someone you know died instead of being only injured.
Otherwise, you couldn’t get the justice you were looking for. In any case, this circumstance is applicable even today and can be used as well.
2. The Modern Approach
Now, almost every state has enacted a new law or two that can supersede the impracticality of the old rule. With a wrongful death statute, you can act as a representative of the deceased (if you’re a member of their family).
If you want, you can even sue the person who’s responsible for the death of your loved one. The damages you can file for may include the following –
- Grief, mental suffering, and sorrow due to the loss of the individual.
- The loss in wages and their availability.
- The medical expense of the deceased person.
- The lost income (whatever they’ve earned in the future).
In truth, the modern approach is definitely better on paper.
But, if you’re unable to prove the involvement of the person you’re using, they might file a case of reputational infringement against you.
Wrongful Death Claim – Who Can File It?
The particulars of a wrongful death claim, especially related to who can file it, can vary from one state to another. In this section, we’ll talk about two such systems that are usually used in this aspect. Hopefully, you’ll get the idea we’re trying to convey.
1. The Lord Campbell Structure
According to the Lord Campbell system, you can only bring about a wrongful death claim if you’re a designated beneficiary of the deceased. Hence, a specific group of people, primarily based on their relationship with the departed, can work on this aspect.
For instance, some statues tend to designate the widow of the deceased person – or their child – as the beneficiary. Other examples of the same can include –
- The immediate family member of the person, including – children (adopted or their own), spouse, and the parent (if the deceased was unmarried).
- Life partner (such as the wife) or the domestic partner (if the person and their loved one were following a live-in relationship).
- Someone who’s financially dependent on the person or those who will suffer emotionally and fiscally due to the loss.
Aside from this, the decedent’s distant family members can file the claim as well. However, it will only be applicable when the person doesn’t have any immediate family.
2. The Loss-To-Estate Structure
In some states, the claim of wrongful death can only be filed by the estate of the decedent. It can help them compensate for the loss sustained due to the death of the deceased. This type of lawsuit is usually brought by someone who’s a personal representative of the decedent.
They can do it under their name alone.
However, if they succeed and recover a substantial amount of money from the in-fault party, they’ll have to provide the same to the designated beneficiaries.
Additional Resources: 5 Questions You Need To Ask A Prospective Criminal Defense Lawyer News Stoner
We’ll use this section to help you understand the topic of wrongful death a little better and clarify the confusions you may have. However, if you still find something to be confusing, be sure to let us know about it in the comment section below.
1. Can A Husband Be Sued For Wrongful Death?
The claim of wrongful death is usually brought on by the surviving spouse of the decedent. However, if it’s proved that the husband is involved in the “killing” of their wife, they can be sued by another beneficiary of the deceased.
2. What Do You Mean By Negligence In Wrongful Death?
The term “negligence” is usually used in the segment of medical assistance. It can refer to the doctor misdiagnosing the deceased or not making a reasonable effort to keep them alive.
In some cases, taking an unreasonable risk to save someone’s life can also be considered as being negligent.
As mentioned before, filing a wrongful death action can be a little tricky, especially if you do not belong to a legal background. Due to this reason, we will ask you to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
They can check the background of your case and file a lawsuit proficiently. They will also ensure that you’re not taking a single wrong step while working on the case.
In any case, when you’re hiring, we’ll ask you to opt for someone who opts for an attorney who’ll charge after they’ve won your case.
It’s the safest and best bet from every possible viewpoint.