Earlier this month, this Worcester personal injury legal blog offered an informative post about the use of a breach of warranty claim as the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. This post will follow up on that article by briefly introducing the other two claims on which wrongful death suits may be based: negligence and reckless or wanton conduct.

A wrongful death claim based on negligence is similar to a general personal injury claim based on negligence in that it was that failure of the responsible party to use reasonable care that led to the victim’s injury or death. When a person fails to meet their duty of care to their victim and that victim dies they negligence may be the cause on which the lawsuit may originate.

Additionally, reckless or wanton conduct may be used as the basis of a wrongful death suit. Reckless or wanton conduct is more than a person simply causing an accident through negligence. This level of conduct applies when the actions of the responsible party are malicious, intentional or in blatant disregard for the safety of others. As with breaches of warranty and negligence, recklessness can support a wrongful death claim.

Whichever basis for a wrongful death claim applies, the deceased victim’s estate executor or administrator has only three years to file a claim unless evidence shows that they would not have known the victim’s cause of death until a later time. After a wrongful death it can be helpful for grieving family members to discuss their legal rights and options with attorneys that know and practice wrongful death and personal injury law.