A wrongful death is the situation when a person is killed due to the misconduct or negligence of another individual, entity or company. Legal actions based on this wrongful death is often initiated by immediate family members which can include children, spouses and sometimes parents. There are many actions which can also be brought by the personal representatives of the decedent. These actions can be conscious pain, expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death or personal injury and suffering prior to death.
Wrongful Death Law Suit Elements
There are various elements which need to be present for a successful wrongful death cause of action. The elements which should be present are as follows:
- The death of a human being.
- It should be caused by another’s negligence or with a intention to cause harm.
- Family members who survived and who are suffering monetary and emotional injury as a result of the death.
- If no immediate family members, a personal representative should be appointed for the decedent’s estate
Wrongful Death Causes
There are number of causes which may lead to a claim of wrongful death. Some causes of wrongful death are as follows:
Medical Malpractice: Doctors usually provide quality patient care as much as possible. But, there are some medical mistakes and incorrect diagnoses that occur every year. These mistakes are sometimes severe and lead to the death of the patient. Thus, cases of malpractice and negligence which lead to the death of the patient become the grounds for a wrongful death suit.
Defective Products: It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to provide safe and effective products to the consumer. If there is a defect in the products of the company and the company does not recognize it, then a wrongful death suit might be claimed against that company.
Poisoning and Toxic Exposure: Employees who work in the petroleum and chemical industries are often exposed to poisonous substances which can lead to serious diseases such as blindness, cancer, mesothelioma, hearing loss and many respiratory diseases. The people working become ill before they realize the illness might be caused by exposure to those substances. In these cases, if the employer knowingly exposed his employees to the poisonous substances and the employee dies then it can become grounds for the claim of wrongful death suit.
Injuries and Accidents: Many accidents occur due to negligent driving behavior and/or defective vehicles. In these accidents if one dies due to the negligent behavior of another party then there are possible grounds for a wrongful death suit. The most common types of accidents which occur are bus or automobile accidents, boating accidents and drowning.