Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult experience to deal with in any circumstance. However, when the loss is due to the negligence of another individual, the pain and heartache can be magnified even more knowing that it may have been avoidable. In these types of circumstances, wrongful death lawsuits may come into play. There are certain elements, however, that must be present for such a suit to be filed.
At its core, a wrongful death lawsuit asserts that the death of an individual was directly caused by another party. Several factors must be present for the suit to be valid. There must, of course (and unfortunately), be a death; family members of the deceased must be alive and suffering monetary damages because of the death; there must be a representative of the deceased appointed.
Financial, or pecuniary, damages are the main element in deciding a wrongful death suit. Such damages are complex and difficult to calculate as they factor in several points of the life of the deceased. If the deceased was an adult, factors such as loss of parental guidance for any children involved and income may come into play. There are also more nebulous factors that can be considered as well, such as future earnings.
The loss of a loved one is heartbreaking no matter what. However, when the negligence of another possibly directly caused that death, legal action may be possible to help the surviving members of the family move along. In such situations, seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney may provide the family members with a solid plan of legal action, hopefully leading to a more comfortable path toward coping with the loss.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Wrongful Death Overview," Accessed Jan. 30, 2015