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What Qualifies As Wrongful Death?

wrongful death of spouse

Wrongful death by definition is supposed to classify a death that resulted from another person or entity’s negligence or misconduct.  However, a wrongful death lawsuit can be a tricky thing to navigate when it comes to making sure that the death did in fact occur as a result of another person’s negligent behavior.  The term and its meaning can be twisted if a family member or loved one is angry about the death and looking for any justification possible.  It is important to know how to accurately identify a wrongful death and how to go about filing a wrongful death suit properly.

Most Common Wrongful Death Causes

The most common wrongful death cases include, but are not limited to; car accidents caused by a negligent or drunk driver, motorcycle accident due to negligent or drunk driver, medical malpractice, nursing home patient abuse or neglect, product malfunction or liability, an animal attack caused by an unrestrained pet or negligent pet owner or a slip and fall caused by negligence and unsafe conditions.  If any of these circumstances sound similar or mirror the way that your loved one or family member died, then it is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.  A consultation with a lawyer will help you to assess your options and the possibility that a wrongful death suit is needed.  

How Is A Wrongful Death Determined?

First, it will need to be proven that a death was caused by no fault of the deceased.  This means that in no way could the person who died have prevented, known, or contribute to their death in any way.  An example of this would be a person who dies from sky diving, versus a person who died on their way to the grocery store.  A person that is engaging in the act of sky diving has some knowledge that death is a possibility.  While it is rare, and the expectation is that they will live through the experience, it is still a possibility and because of that, there is typically liability paperwork sign ahead of time that prevents any loved ones from filing a wrongful death suit.   The latter example, however, of someone dying on their way to the grocery store, would not carry the same weight.  When a loved one says they are headed to the grocery store, there is a certain level of safety that is automatically assumed.  There is no paperwork, or precautions taken beforehand as it is a daily mundane task that does not carry any specific danger.  However, if a negligent or drunk driver hits your loved one on their way to the grocery store and kills them, this is absolutely a wrongful death that was not caused by the deceased in any way.

Wrongful death suits are highly emotional for obvious reasons, and we urge anyone who is even thinking about the possibility that their loved one died of wrongful death to contact an attorney immediately.