A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed by the loved ones or the surviving family members of an individual who died due to another individual or entity’s intentional act or negligence. Anyone related to the victim can file against an individual, a number of individuals, or an entity.
A Throwback to the History of Wrongful Death Cases
Prior to wrongful death statutes being passed in all states, claims for wrongful death didn’t exist. This is because the Common Law, which are legal rules passed down to the U.S. from England in the course of many centuries, didn’t allow them. According to it, claims for negligence that have resulted in wrongful deaths also died along with the supposed negligence victims. This meant that survivors of the deceased didn’t have the legal right to recoup losses or damages they suffered due to their loved one’s death, which shouldn’t be the case.
The Importance of Wrongful Death Claims Today
Fortunately, every state in the U.S. today have their own wrongful death laws. While these differ from one state to the next, wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles assure clients that they all share specific elements. In general, when a survivor files for a claim of wrongful death, they would have to show indisputable evidence that:
The individual being sued actually contributed or completely caused the victim’s death.
The defendant was either liable for the victim’s death due to strict liability or matter of law or performed a negligent action that resulted in the victim’s death.
The death of the victim has resulted in financial losses for which compensation is being pursued.
The spouse, beneficiaries, and dependents are alive.
They have been affected or harmed due to the death of the victim. Monetary damages are crucial to wrongful death cases after all. These include funeral and medical expenses and loss of future benefits and income.
The principles regarding claims of wrongful death differ per state, but if you strongly believe that you might have a valid case, consult a lawyer to figure out the best course of action for you.