It is not easy to think about losing a loved one. When the unforeseen happens, it is important to know what to do. Understanding wrongful death claims can relieve some of the stress during this difficult time. Legally speaking, a wrongful death is defined as the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person. While this may sound straightforward, there are multiple components involved in determining what constitutes a wrongful act.
Wrongful death claims can be divided into three broad categories:
A wrongful death claim comes about when a person dies due to the legal fault of another person. These claims are centered on liability and generally involve the concept of some type of compensation after a qualifying loss. A relatively new concept, it was only during the last century that courts began acknowledging wrongful death claims. Now, each state has some form of wrongful death law.
Wrongful death claims can apply to a variety of circumstances, such as car accidents. A wrongful death claim can apply to an individual, company, or a government agency who is found to be legally at fault for a negligent act that resulted in a death.
A wrongful death can create a ripple effect that impacts many people either directly or indirectly. Typically, wrongful death cases are discussed in terms of surviving family members. This is understandable considering the heavy burden on family members who have lost a loved one. The lasting effects, however, can be much more wide-ranging than the clear impact on the family immediately after a loss. Those affected by unexpected death can include:
In some states, any person who relied on the deceased for financial support may sue for a wrongful death claim, regardless of marital or family status.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that unintentional injuries are a significant cause of death in the United States. In fact, these type of accidental deaths are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Unintentional injury deaths result in over 130,000 deaths every year. The most common types of wrongful death cases in the U.S. involve the following types of accidents:
Motor Vehicle Accidents: This includes all types of motorized vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents: While car crashes are very common, injuries and even death resulting from motorcycle accidents occur frequently as well. Even pedestrians can suffer life-threatening injuries.
Products Liability Cases: A faulty product can result in injury or death. Products liability cases can be linked to wrongful death suits.
Slip and Fall Accidents: A severe slip and fall accident can lead to fatal injuries.
Medical Malpractice: Mistakes happen in every profession. A medical malpractice suit can be associated with a wrongful death.
Accidental Poisoning: Unintentional poisoning can result from ingestion of chemicals, like those found in cleaning products, or ingesting more than a safe amount of substances, like over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Accidental Drowning: These cases are typically linked to recreational activities, like boating. However, an accidental drowning can result in a pool or dock.
Work Accidents: Workplace accidents are common, especially in hazardous environments. In extreme cases, these accidents can result in fatalities.
Wrongful death claims are serious and must be handled accordingly. Those who suffer a loss from an avoidable death may claim damages, and they need to know the right way to receive compensation. Laws vary by state, but a lawyer can help the victim’s family understand their rights and options.
A wrongful death claim can protect a family after they suffered a loss. A Millsboro personal injury lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you with your case. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.