Wrongful Death: What It Is and How to Prove It
When someone dies as a direct result of the negligence or reckless actions of another, this loss of life is a wrongful death. The most common causes of wrongful death acts include careless driving, assault or murder, as well as workplace accidents.
Wrongful death can be grounds for a lawsuit against the party or parties who are liable for the death. To be successful, wrongful death plaintiffs must prove that the death of the victim was caused in whole or in part by the negligence of a certain party or parties. An insurance provider sometimes covers the responsible party, who is the defendant in the lawsuit.
The executor or administrator of the estate of the decedent may file the wrongful death lawsuit or claim. Also, individual beneficiaries, such as a spouse, child, or other dependents of the victim may file the claim or lawsuit.
What is to gain?
By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members may be able to recover some of the financial losses they suffered as a result of the event. While it may be difficult to consider your loss in this way, losing a family member can cause you to incur medical expenses, funeral expenses, as well as lost future wages or income the victim would have earned in a lifetime. Surviving family members can also seek compensation for emotional distress due to the loss of companionship or parental guidance the victim provided, as well as pain and suffering of the victim.
An unexpected accident can leave surviving family members grieving for some time. But it is important to note that each state has a deadline for filing wrongful death claims. In New Jersey, the lawsuit must be brought within two years of the death of the decedent. If plaintiffs fail to file their wrongful death lawsuits by the deadline, they then lose their ability to sue. This means their families will not be able to receive the financial compensation they deserve.