When someone dies due to the negligence or the malicious action of another, the victim’s family may sue for wrongful death. Essentially, if someone dies due to something they would otherwise have had a personal injury case for, their family is eligible to sue for wrongful death.
Medical malpractice, murder, manslaughter, car accidents caused by negligence, and vehicular manslaughter are just a few of the potential causes of wrongful death.
The recoverable damages vary depending on the relationship between the deceased and the plaintiff. These are the damages that can often be recovered:
- Funeral costs
- Loss of expected income
- Loss of inheritance
- The pre-death pain and suffering of the deceased
- Pre-death medical costs
- The value of services that would have otherwise been provided by the deceased
- Loss of care, guidance, and nurturing
- Loss of love and companionship
As previously stated, the potential damages vary from case to case. For example, a parent would not be able to recover expected income, but a child or spouse would.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
The laws concerning who is eligible to sue for wrongful death vary from state to state. In general, underage children can sue for a parent’s wrongful death. A person is eligible to sue for the wrongful death of their spouse. Parents are eligible to sue for the wrongful death of a child.
Other situations may not be allowed. An adult may not be able to sue for the wrongful death of their parent. Grown siblings may not be able to sue for the wrongful death of other siblings. Aunts, uncles, and other extended family members may be unable to sue for wrongful death. The more distantly related, the more difficult it will be to sue for wrongful death.