Wrongful death is a death that is caused by someone else’s wrongful act or neglect.
A wrongful death action is a lawsuit that results from the death. The heirs of the person who died or the person representing the estate of the person who died may file a lawsuit against the person or entity that caused the death, such as a hospital or business.
Car Accidents Causing Wrongful Death
Automobile accidents are common causes of wrongful death suits. When somebody drives a car negligently and causes the death of another driver or pedestrian, a wrongful death case may be brought against the negligent driver and/or any other negligent person or entity that contributed to the death.
Intentional Acts Causing Wrongful Death
Homicide is also considered a wrongful death case. Whether or not it is a case that someone would bring is another matter and it depends on the defendant.
The defendant is not going to have an insurance policy for an intentional act, such a shooting. Whether or not the offending individual has assets would be a factor in whether the heirs or estate of the deceased decide to bring the lawsuit or not.
Proving Wrongful Death
In the case of an automobile accident, where the other driver was acting negligently, failed to yield the right of way, or hit a bicyclist or pedestrian, we would gather evidence to prove negligence. In opposition, the insurance company for the driver would try to prove that the driver was not negligent or was only partially at fault.
If it’s a product liability case, there are strict liability issues that you have to go through to prove the case.
In either instance, you need to prove that the defendant acted negligently or wrongfully.