Following the unexpected loss of a loved one, family members of victims can be left with difficult emotional and financial challenges. Wrongful death legal actions are designed to help surviving family members of victims killed by the negligence or misconduct of others recover compensation for the financial and emotional damages they have suffered.

Wrongful death actions are brought by the personal representative for the lost loved one’s estate. Damages that are recovered through a wrongful death action are recovered by the lost loved one’s estate for the benefit of surviving loved ones. Wrongful death actions are brought after a loved one is killed by the negligence of another party which results in the loved ones of the victims suffering damages.

Family members may be able to recover damages for the wrongful loss of a loved one including the loss of support and services; lost prospect of inheritance; medical and funeral expenses; and pain and suffering damages. Wrongful death damages are intended to compensate surviving family members for the financial and emotional damages they have suffered. Damages are based on the unique circumstances and the characteristics of the victim, including age, earning capacity, life expectancy, health and intelligence, and the circumstances of the surviving family members.

Wrongful death lawsuits may be brought in a number of different types of circumstances, sharing in common that the loss was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party. Wrongful death lawsuits can include car accidents or medical malpractice situations to name a few types of circumstances that may lead to a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death actions are available to support surviving family members during the difficult time that follows the wrongful and unexpected loss of a loved one.

Source: Findlaw.com, “Wrongful Death Overview,” Accessed Nov. 23, 2015