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A wrongful death occurs when an individual dies because of the legal fault of another person or entity. The cause may be an action or it may be an omission, but the actions or omissions must have led directly to the death of the individual. In such cases, survivors of the deceased may choose to bring a wrongful death suit.
Cases that often result in wrongful deaths include industrial accidents, workplace accidents, slip and fall accidents, drunk driver accidents, defective products, pharmaceutical cases, and maritime accidents. Defendants in wrongful death actions may be an individual or an entity, such as a the manufacturer of a product.
Each state has its own wrongful death statute that governs who can bring such cases and what they can recover, but there are some general commonalities between them.
The executor of the deceased’s estate, called the representative, usually brings the wrongful death claim on behalf of the affected survivors of the deceased. Parties may include family members, such as the spouse, children or parents of the deceased. Those that were financially dependent on the deceased may also bring suit in some states, even if there was no relation.
There is a wide range of possible defendants in a wrongful death claim. Parties may include companies that manufactured a product that led to individual’s death. Examples include pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, car manufacturers, negligent employers, or drunk drivers. Whether or not the defendant acted intentionally or not, a wrongful death suit can be brought.
Damages that may be recovered vary from state to state, but in general the following damages are considered:
A wrongful death is a very emotional event. If you have had a family member die of a wrongful death, your life may be permanently changed. Not only are you suffering emotionally, but you are likely struggling financially as well. A wrongful death suit can provide you the compensation you deserve, and it can also help hold the responsible party accountable. Contact Kirkendall Dwyer LLP as soon as possible for a free consultation to discuss your case today. The sooner you contact our attorneys, the more we can do to help you. Statutes of limitation occur in every jurisdiction, limiting the amount of time you have to bring your claim. We do not collect a fee until we recover compensation for you. You have nothing to lose; contact us today.