Sadly, acts of negligence can lead to more than just injury. In some cases, death can result from careless behavior, leading to wrongful death lawsuits. Here is an explanation of what qualifies as wrongful death and the components of a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death is a legal claim that seeks to hold a negligent party responsible for a death that could have been prevented. As in personal injury lawsuits, the negligence involved in a wrongful death claim has four parts: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and injury leading to death. For example, in the case of a death resulting from a car accident, the responsible driver had a duty to follow traffic rules to avoid injury to himself and others; by disobeying these regulations, he breached his duty of care and caused the injury—and ultimately the death—of another person.
Filing a Lawsuit
After the death of the injured party, the executor of his or her estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover related damages. Such a lawsuit can award damages for the deceased’s pain and suffering, if it can be shown to have occurred; however, the main objective is to compensate surviving relatives for their costs and losses. These can include the deceased’s medical bills and funeral costs, the income and other economic benefits the deceased would have earned, family members’ pain and suffering, and the loss of companionship and parental guidance experienced as a result of the death.
If a loved one has died as a result of another person’s negligence, your family may be entitled to financial compensation for your loss. Though nothing will bring back your loved one, the damages will allow you to live without the additional stress of uncertain finances. To discuss your situation, call (919) 238-4668 and speak with an attorney at the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood in Cary.