Death is an inevitable fact of life. But if a person dies all of a sudden and due to the negligence of another person, that is something that is not easily acceptable by the surviving loved ones of the deceased. According to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, the surviving relatives can file a wrongful death claim to make the person responsible for the death of their loved one liable.
A wrongful death claim can be made by a representative of the estate on behalf of the surviving members of the family and other affected parties. Such a claim can be made if the victim, who have made a personal injury claim, died due to the negligence or intentional harmful act of the defendant. There are several situations when wrongful death can take place, which includes:
- The victim died due to an intentional act. A perfect example is the OJ Simpson case. He was sued and accused of intentionally killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
- The victim’s death was due to medical malpractice. If the victim died because of the failure of a doctor to properly diagnose a condition or if they showed carelessness in providing the needed level of care, the family members of the victim can sue the doctor for wrongful death.
- The death of the victim was a result of a car accident caused by a negligent driver. If the victim died from a car accident injury, his heirs can file a wrongful death claim.
Proving Wrongful Death
To be successful with their claim, the death of the plaintiff should meet the same criteria that they would need to satisfy if the victim was alive. First, there has to be duty of care on the part of the defendant. Second, that such duty was breached by the defendant which was the direct and proximate cause of death. Thirdly, that there were damages that the plaintiff is aiming to recover.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim can be filed by a representative of the family on behalf of survivors who had a relationship with the deceased. In all states, a spouse may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased spouse. Parents can claim damages for the wrongful death of their children, and minors can collect damages for the killing of their parents. In some states, the life partner of the deceased or anyone who can prove financial dependence on the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
However, it would be much harder for distant relatives to prove that they can claim for wrongful death.