How to Define a Wrongful Death Claim

In a wrongful death claim, or lawsuit, the emphasis is on the victim who claims, by his or her estate, that the death of the victim was due to the negligence of some other third party; i.e., another person or entity that breached a duty of due care to the deceased that caused the death. The victim’s estate, or the survivors of the victim, are entitled under law to claim monetary damages for this death.

This type of lawsuit is much different from other contemporary negligence lawsuits. In a negligence action, the injured person himself or herself files the claim for injury and seeks monetary compensation. Under common law from England, such wrongful death actions did not exist as the crown decided that the right to seek compensation died with the victim. However, over the years, each State in the United States have adopted statutes allowing for these types of claims or actions to exist. This provides incentive for industry and others to act carefully and above all else, safely towards others as we engage in society.

A wrongful death claim or lawsuit contains the following 4 general priniciples:

1. the death was caused, or caused in part, by the conduct of the defendant;
2. the defendant was either negligent for the death or strictly liable;
3. there is or are survivors of the deceased; either a surviving spouse, children, dependents, or beneficiaries (in order to have standing to bring the lawsuit forward);
4. monetary damages are provable from the death of the victim in a court of law;

If you believe you may have a viable claim for a wrongful death as described above, you should consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Statutory time lines are in place under the law and an experienced attorney can best advise you and your family of such dead lines. Should you need a free legal consultation, you may contact Attorney Mark C. Blane at (888) 845-6269.
Mark Blane
Founder of The Law Offices of Mark Blane, APC
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