The news of a loved one passing is devastating. Discovering that their death could have been prevented– crushing. When a family uncovers the evidence of their loved one’s wrongful death, they are often flooded with emotions: heartache, anger, confusion, and helplessness. The end of a life often rings as a sealed and shut door. But justice does not stop at death.
How Wrongful Death Cases Work
When a person dies or is killed (including murder) because of someone else’s negligence, the victim’s surviving family members may sue for wrongful death. A suit for wrongful death may only be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The family member(s) will then sue for the suffering monetary injury.
What Must Be Present in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
- Evidence of the death. Unlike most criminal trials, wrongful death suits require a lower standard of proof.
- Evidence of perpetrator’s negligence, misconduct, or intent to harm.
- Evidence of the surviving family members’ monetary suffering due to the victim’s death.
- A personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
Money Doesn’t Make Up for Death
There’s a false belief that the money won from a wrongful death suit is used to just comfort the family. This simply isn’t true. The money won can help surviving family members with the following (not limited to):
Paying the Victim’s Hospital Bills
Never underestimate how high hospital bills can run. A few years back, it was reported that someone was charged a $93,000 bill for a false alarm heart attack. The last thing a victim’s family should have to do is pay the bill for a wrongful death.
Making Up for Loss of Income
An example of that would be the money going towards a now-widowed mother providing for her children. During this sensitive time, families need to focus on grieving, not survival.
Neurologists and experts alike are still baffled by how little we understand of the human brain. Bills should never get in the way of someone seeking mental health help, especially after the traumatic death of a loved one.