Wrongful death is a specific part of personal injury law pertaining to the loss of life due to negligence. Understanding what wrongful death is and how it works within the scope of law requires understanding negligence.
Not every case where someone dies is a wrongful death situation, even if the death was unexpected.
One of the most important elements of wrongful death is negligence. Negligence can mean someone doing something they know could cause harm. But it also can occur when someone overlooks potential harm in an action or fails to do something required by the law. It may also involve breaking the law.
Some examples of wrongful death situations include a person causing an auto accident because they run a stop sign, a company making a product that has a defect that harms users and a property owner who fails to properly secure a pool to prevent unauthorized use.
Wrongful death is possible in many criminal situations. Even if the state has charged someone with a crime, you may still have the right to file for wrongful death. The only factor in wrongful death is proving that the other person was negligent or intentional in the actions that led directly to the death of your loved one. You may need to wait for the criminal trial to end, but you can check into your rights to make a claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit typically will result in you receiving damages or money from the other party. While this will not bring your loved one back, it does help hold the other party responsible for what they did.