Wrongful Death Archives

Common Questions About Wrongful Death

Posted on August 13, 2015

Common Questions About Wrongful Death

In personal injury cases where someone dies, the family members and loved ones of that person often wonder if they can file a lawsuit. These types of cases are known as wrongful death lawsuits, and are a common kind of personal injury case. While every state has its own specific rules that govern wrongful death cases, there are a number of common questions that many people have about these types of situations. Today, we’re going to take a look at some common questions surrounding wrongful death.

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is the legal term that describes the death of someone that results from someone else’s wrongdoing, negligence, or intentional action. In a wrongful death case, the person who has died can obviously not file a lawsuit him or herself. Instead, that person’s spouse, parents, children, or even other family members can file a lawsuit for wrongful death.

Is a wrongful death claim the same as murder?

It’s easy to confuse wrongful death lawsuits with murder, or other types of crimes, because both types of situations involve someone dying as a result of someone else’s actions. When you are talking about a wrongful death claim, however, it’s important to understand that this is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case. Even though the person responsible for the death of someone might be criminally liable for the actions that caused the death, a wrongful death case is not the same thing as a criminal charge.

For example, let’s say that your spouse is killed after being hit by a drunk driver. Even if prosecutors choose not to file criminal charges against the driver, you can still file a wrongful death lawsuit against that person.

Further, if you file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and win, that driver will not face prison or jail because of your lawsuit. Instead, the only thing the judge in a civil lawsuit can do is to order the driver to pay monetary damages.

What are damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

In any civil lawsuit, the person filing the lawsuit is asking a court to order the wrongdoer to pay compensation for the damage the wrongdoer caused. In wrongful death cases, these damages can arise for many reasons. For example, if it was your spouse who was killed, you can ask the court to award damages for the lost income and financial support your spouse would have provided had he or she remained alive. In addition to economic damages, wrongful death cases can also involve damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship or affection, and loss of consortium (sexual relations) for the spouse of the deceased person.

What do I need to do to win a wrongful death lawsuit?

There is no single way to answer this type of question. Any wrongful death lawsuit must be filed in accordance with the laws of the state in which you live. There are many procedural and substantive rules that apply to these kinds of cases, and only an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area can give you advice about any wrongful death lawsuit you might wish to pursue.

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Learn More about Wrongful Death

Posted on March 28, 2014

Learn More About Wrongful Death

A death caused by the negligent or unjust actions of another individual is referred to as a wrongful death. While all deaths are devastating to the family and friends of the deceased, wrongful deaths can be exceptionally traumatic due to the fact that they could have been prevented. A variety of accidents and intentional harms can lead to the wrongful death of others, including car accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace negligence, and even acts of violence or murder. When the numbers are added up, it is clear to see how unfortunately common wrongful deaths can be.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 37,000 prescription drug-related fatalities occurred in 2009. The Department of Transportation reports that for the same year, 33,883 traffic accident fatalities occurred. Workplace accidents also contribute significantly, with over 4,500 accident-related fatalities reported in 2010 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that approximately 225,000 individuals die each year as a result of medical malpractice.

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Guns Loom Large in Childhood Death Statistics

You can’t go more than a couple of months without seeing another news headline about a school shooting, or a shooting incident involving a child. While these stories are shocking, school shootings account for only a small number of the gun-related injuries and fatalities that children suffer every year as a result of gunshots. In fact, most gun injuries happen in the home and at the hands of other children who had no intention of hurting anybody.

Children and Gun Deaths

According to a recent study presented to a conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 500 children die every year from gunshot wounds. That number represents a 60 percent increase in a single decade. Handguns, by far, account for the most injuries and deaths. Over 80 percent of all children who are injured by firearms suffer injuries inflicted by handguns.

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Wrongful Death: What You Need to Know

Posted on September 26, 2013

Wrongful Death: What You Need to Know

When someone dies as the result of another person’s actions, this can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death claim, the person who caused another person’s death can be held liable. These types of cases commonly occur after, for example, a patient dies as a result of the doctor’s malpractice, a worker gets killed while on the job, or the driver or passenger of a vehicle dies as a result of a car crash.


Just like other lawsuits, wrongful death claims are dependent on the laws of the individual state where the death occurs. In all states, someone filing a wrongful death lawsuit has to show that the person, organization, or government agency they claim caused the death, known as the defendant, is legally responsible, or liable.

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