Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Categories: Wrongful Death

Wrongful death lawsuits are sometimes the most difficult for people to pursue, mainly because family members are morally concerned about the idea of “profiting” from a loved one’s death.

What many don’t realize, however, is that wrongful death can actually be legally determined when a person is indirectly responsible for the death of another individual.

The definition of wrongful death, according to a recent post on Yahoo.com, is: “Any death of a human being resulting from negligence or misconduct from another person, company or entity.”

If you think you may have a valid case to file a wrongful death lawsuit for a recent loss, here’s some helpful information to help you make your decision:

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by the executor (or the person named in the victim’s will who is responsible for distributing assets and paying debts and taxes) of the descendent’s estate. The executor can file the lawsuit on behalf of the descedent’s immediate family, which typically refers to a spouse, parent or child. A wrongful death, in most cases, cannot be filed by a friend or an extended family relative.

Why does the plaintiff have to be an immediate family member?

For damages to be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit, the family member must be able to prove that he/she has been negatively affected by the loss of the decedent. For example, the wife of a man killed on the job can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit because she will no longer benefit from wages earned by the victim. In other words, her lifestyle was decreased by the loss of the victim (her husband), so she is therefore entitled to damages.

Which circumstances generally surround a wrongful death lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits are often filed after one of the following incidents results in a death:
– alleged medical malpractice occurrences
– car or plane crashes
– deaths resulting from injuries on the job
– food poisoning
– use of toxic products which have not been advertised as toxic
– exposure to hazardous substances without prior notice of danger
(Although this is NOT a complete list of reasons to file wrongful death lawsuits, this is just few incidents we have come across at our K& W Legal law office in Atlanta ).
According to state laws which are considered survival actions?

In many cases, the descendent involved in a wrongful death lawsuit did not die right away, but suffered consciously before death. This can add to the amount of damages recovered by the family.

Here’s an example: A 28-year-old man died four years ago from a work-related accident. He initially suffered the loss of his left leg, then died three weeks later from secondary infections. His family was able to recover a significant amount of money not only for his death, but also for the three weeks of suffering he incurred following the accident.

Where can family members obtain legal counsel?

If you’re in search of a wrongful death attorney in the Atlanta , GA area contact the experienced team at Krause Law Firm TODAY.
Not only do we provide compassionate and personalized legal services …we are dedicated to solving your legal problems and providing you with the attention you need.

We will fight for you!
Krause Law Firm