What Are Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Did you know that there are over 90,000 deaths in the United States that occur wrongfully? While most personal injury lawsuits involving vehicles typically deal with car accident injuries, there are many that sadly also deal with the loss of lives.

These cases are known as wrongful death lawsuits, and generally deal with a death caused in part or whole by the conduct or negligence of the defendant. Wrongful death can occur due to malpractice, vehicular accidents, nursing home abuses, work related injuries, defective drugs, dog bites, toxic exposures, and defective products. The leading cause of these personal injury lawsuits, however, are car accidents. The Traffic Safety Annual Assessment reported that there were more than 45,000 car fatalities in 2005, which makes it the most predominant cause of death in unintentional accidents.

In these tragic personal injury lawsuits, lawyers will seek to obtain damages in the form of wrongful death settlements for the family of the victim, which might include the immediate expenses associated with the death, like medical and funeral bills; the loss of the victim’s anticipated earnings and benefits; the loss of inheritance; pain and suffering damages; loss of companionship; and also general and punitive damages. If successful, these personal injury lawsuit settlements can be quite high.

Charges of wrongful death can not only be brought against responsible individuals, but also against public agencies, such as a city, state, jail, prison, hospital, school, company, nursing home, and more. Who is allowed to be charged with a wrongful death is determined by state law.

States also have varying time limits regarding their statue of limitations under which the complaint may be submitted, and who may submit the claims. Essentially, each state has its own set of wrongful death laws that govern these personal injury lawsuits.

Complex cases involving wrongful death are challenging, but are well worth pursuing. Though the auto accident settlement’s money can’t realistically return what’s been lost, they can make personal circumstances and situations easier, allowing a person to have more time to cope and mourn.

If you have any questions about these personal injury lawsuits, feel free to ask in the comments.