What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when a person loses his life because of another person, usually involving negligence, recklessness, or misconduct. In other words, a person has undeservingly died. The only positive thing that comes with a wrongful death is the possibility of the victim’s family members to receive compensation from the responsible party.
The website www.habush.com has listed the elements needed in a legitimate wrongful death case:

  • The death of a human being
  • Caused by negligence of another person, company, or entity
  • The survival of family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death
  • The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate

The monetary injury stated above can come in many forms. First, there is the obvious medical costs while the person has not yet died and the funeral costs when he has finally succumbed. Second, there is the lost wages, especially if the victim is the primary financer in the family. Third, there is the lost benefits, including healthcare, social security, and pension plans.
Lost companionship, though considered as one of the damages of wrongful death, does not necessarily translate to compensation from the responsible party, but it helps as an argument in winning the case, and possibly, increasing the settlement.
But how does wrongful death even occur? Usually, it comes in the form of traffic accidents involving reckless drivers, medical accidents involving incompetent or negligent medical professionals, product accidents involving designers who have created inherently dangerous designs and manufacturers who have used poor materials and manufacturing techniques, premises accidents involving property owners who have failed to make their places safe, and workplace accidents involving employers who have failed to make safety regulations or supervisors who have failed to enforce the regulations.
Losing a loved one, especially because of somebody else’s fault, is always a tragic experience. But the legal concept called wrongful death at least gives surviving family members some hope that justice will be served.