No matter the circumstances, the sudden death of a loved one can be difficult to come to terms with. It is even more devastating when that death is attributable to another person’s negligent, reckless or unlawful actions. During those difficult times, there is little you can do to relieve the pain of losing your beloved.
No amount of money can bring a loved one back, but you may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. It can help bring some closure while providing you with the finances you need to help your family carry on.
What is a wrongful death claim?
Unlike a criminal claim, a wrongful death claim is a civil action filed by a private party, not the state. Wrongful death claims can be filed even when no criminal charges are involved.
For instance, if an intoxicated motorist runs over a pedestrian who had the right of way at a crosswalk, resulting in death, then the driver in question can face both a drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter charge. The authorities will probably pursue criminal charges against the driver, but the pedestrian’s estate can seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
During a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s loved ones can seek damages like:
- Funeral and burial expenses for the victim
- Income the deceased would have earned if they were still alive
- The value of the lost services by the deceased
- The value of the lost companionship and parental guidance by the deceased
The death of a loved one is extremely difficult to cope with, especially if it was preventable. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s recklessness, it helps to know that you can pursue the responsible party for damages.