How to Manage a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

What is wrongful death?

An incident may be considered as wrongful death if an individual died due to other party’s neglectful acts, misconduct, omission or malpractice. The law therefore entitles the immediate family members of the deceased or the “distributees” to file charges against the defendant. The surviving spouse, children or sometimes the parents may hire their personal representatives in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. Due to the lack of federal wrongful death statutes in the U.S., every state law varies in its provisions as regards to the standard procedures in working at wrongful death actions and wrongful death lawsuit

How can a wrongful death claim be successful?

Most of the granted wrongful death lawsuits contain the following vital elements that are needed to prove the guilt of the defendant:


  1. The person’s death
  2. The defendant has exercised such neglectful acts, misconduct, omission or malpractice which causes the death
  3. The surviving family members suffer financial burden due to the loss of their loved one
  4. The appointment of a legal counsel for the victim’s assets

What damages are awarded in a wrongful death claim? 

The amount of damages in a wrongful death claim is usually based on pecuniary injury or loss. The compensation however should be fair and just. These losses or harm may include:


  1. Cost of medical treatment and funeral services
  2. Lost wages, including benefits, inheritance and future earnings
  3. Physical and emotional pain and anguish
  4. Companionship loss
  5. General damages and interests

What are statutes of limitations? 

Like any other personal injury case, the statute of limitations does apply in a wrongful death claim. This would set the maximum period for the surviving families to file the case. Depending on the state where the incident happened, the common time frame given to the families is up to the maximum of three years. Bringing their cases to the court farther than the said limits would disqualify it. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions to this matter. To sight an example, the cause of a person’s death was first believed to be accidental. Then after sometime, it was discovered to result from negligence. Hence, the statute of limitations can be corrected prior to the discovery of the true cause of the crime.

Why hire a lawyer?

Some of the claimants believe that they can pursue a wrongful death claim by themselves and that a lawyer has not much importance for their cases. In contrast, the role of wrongful death lawyers is very vital in these claim cases. They have the sufficient knowledge and skills in bringing out positive case outcomes. Moreover, they have the capacity to properly guide the claimants on what legal actions they should pursue.