Wrongful Death Definition

What is the Definition of Wrongful Death?

The definition of wrongful death is a civil claim against someone responsible for a death. Family members and dependents can file a lawsuit for wrongful death against anyone who kills another person either intentionally or negligently. When someone is killed because of the carelessness or wrongdoing of another person or group, this is defined as wrongful death. 

Separate from Criminal Charges

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case that is different from any criminal charges, even though there may be a criminal investigation into the fatality. Someone who is being sued for wrongful death may also be charged criminally in connection with the same incident, and because the standard of proof is lower in a wrongful death action, even if the defendant is not found guilty on the criminal charge, they may still be held accountable. 

Laws are different in each state

State laws set limits on the damages and parties eligible to receive compensation in such lawsuits. Laws enable spouses and children to get compensation from wrongful death lawsuits, but other jurisdictions also include parents, siblings, and other dependents in this category.

Wrongful death damages

Damages for wrongful deaths compensate for the suffering and loss of financial support caused by the death, and juries award damages depending on many variables, such as the person’s prior income, anticipated future income, and the degree of the dependent status of the family members. In some cases, jurors may grant compensation for funeral costs, physical suffering, and emotional trauma inflicted on the wounded party before death. Additionally, certain states permit the imposition of punitive damages where the individual who caused the death acted intentionally or recklessly.

Wrongful death case types

A wrongful death case may be brought about by many events, including medical negligence, car accidents, toxic torts, manufacturing flaws, or criminal activities. Every state has a different wrongful death statute, along with distinct requirements and steps for filing a wrongful death claim. In some circumstances, specific government entities might be immune from legal action for wrongful death claims.

Lawyer Experienced in Wrongful Death Claims

It is essential to have a specialist wrongful death attorney on your side after the loss of a loved one. The Willis Law Firm has decades of experience helping Americans gain the payments to which they were legally entitled after suffering an injury or death of a loved one. Our wrongful death attorney is board certified and has obtained over $100 million for personal injury clients. He will put the same effort into your case. 

After our free consultation, you can decide how you want to proceed. If you decide to make a wrongful death claim for damages, an immediate family member or designated representative of the victim’s estate can file such a civil lawsuit with help from a wrongful death lawyer dedicated to your attorney-client relationship. Call 1-800-883-9858 for a free case review to get your questions answered today.

Don't Pay
Until We
Collect
We Can Help
Testimonials
Practice Areas
FEATURED FAQS
Free Case Review
GET YOUR FREE CONSULTATION