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It’s painful to lose someone after you find out their cause of death was an accident at their place of work, words cannot describe the pain family members and friends feel. The most painstaking part is the beginning, one day your husband, wife, or significant other doesn’t come home and you don’t know why, they don’t answer their phone, and soon thereafter you receive a call from their co-worker, and they give you the bad news. The kind of news you never want to hear.

What is a wrongful death claim?

When someone dies due to the fault of another person or entity (like a manufacturing facility), the survivors may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits seek damages, compensation for the survivors' loss, such as lost wages from the deceased, lost companionship, and funeral expenses. Wrongful death claims involve all types of fatal accidents from simple car accidents to complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases. Persons, companies, and governmental agencies can be legally at fault for acting negligently.

Who can sue for wrongful death?

Individuals who can sue for the untimely death of their loved one are immediate family members, like spouses and children, in addition to life partners and financial dependents. These are just some of the individuals who are forced to live with a tragic loss for the rest of their lives and they have a right to recovery. When you lose a job for example, filing for unemployment is the next reasonable step to take, conversely, when you lose a loved one to suspected negligence on behalf of an individual or other entity, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is the appropriate step to receive recovery benefits and compensation. 

Winning A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In order to hold the defendant liable in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs in the claim (usually through the estate of the deceased victim) must meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have had to meet had the victim lived. So, using negligence as an example, this means showing that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, that the defendant breached this duty, that the breach of duty was a direct and proximate cause of the death, and that the death caused the damages that the plaintiff is trying to recover.

Like in any court case, premises for an argument must be established and it must be proven that the defendant was indeed negligent or careless. Deaths are extremely hard for families involved, but they can be even more difficult when caused by someone’s carelessness. An effective method of winning a wrongful death lawsuit is to showcase the evidence to the judge and the jury. By listening to first-hand witnesses, examining surveillance footage, inspecting faulty materials or working stations, reading scheduled inspection and maintenance reports (if any) the case for your loved one will be a stronger one and a case that will be settled in your favor.

Compensation for Damages Caused

According to the Grossman Law Offices, filing a wrongful death lawsuit as early as possible is key to a successful outcome. After filing a wrongful death lawsuit, some of the compensatory items an individual or family can receive include but are not limited to the medical treatment costs that the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injury prior to death, funeral and burial costs, loss of the deceased person's expected income, loss of any inheritance as a result of the death, value of the services that the deceased would have provided, loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased would have provided, including loss of love and companionship. A monetary amount is granted in most cases.