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What Qualifies as Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims are a lot like personal injury claims, except the victim will have died instead of just sustaining injuries. The victim’s family or estate managers can bring a wrongful death suit against the party or parties responsible for the death. And again, like personal injury lawsuits, whether the claim is successful or not depends on establishing the guilty party’s negligent actions which directly led to the death of the victim. If you think you may have a case concerning wrongful death, contact the legal professionals at Lanzotti & Rau as soon as possible, since your time to file a lawsuit might be limited.

Wrongful Death Scenarios

There are many negligent actions which normally apply to personal injury claims, but could also lead to a wrongful death suit. These include:

In all of these cases, someone commits a negligent action which could lead to the wrongful death of a victim. If a doctor misdiagnoses a disease which the patient could have recovered from, and another reasonable doctor would have treated correctly, this qualifies as medical malpractice. Or, if someone does not maintain their property, though they are aware of a potential danger which leads to the death of someone else, this could qualify as a premises liability suit.

Proving Wrongful Death

Not every death qualifies as wrongful death, though. There are four important aspects which are necessary to prove in order to win a wrongful death case.

  • Duty – A defendant is only liable for the wrongful death of a victim if they had a duty to take due care towards the victim. Obviously, a doctor must exercise due care for a patient, but also every driver owes due care to everyone else on the road.
  • Breach of Duty – Then, the plaintiff must show that the responsible party was negligent when they owed a duty of care, like a doctor prescribing the wrong medication or someone driving drunk.
  • Causation – Just because someone acted negligently does not necessarily mean it led to the victim’s death; the plaintiffs must show that the negligent action was directly related to the death.
  • Damages – Finally, the plaintiff must show that damages resulted from the negligent actions of the guilty party. In wrongful death cases, this is mostly straightforward, since the victim lost their life.

If all of these aspects apply to the negligent actions of the guilty party, a wrongful death suit has a good chance to succeed, and the estate of the victim could get damages for medical costs, funeral fees, loss of expected income, loss of inheritance, loss of companionship or friendship, and more.

At Lanzotti & Rau, we handle all personal injury cases, including wrongful death cases. Serving many types of these cases, we have seen how hard a time this is for family and friends. Let us help ease your stress during this difficult time and procure you the financial compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 573-335-9300.