We often hear about wrongful death cases in the media. In August of this year, for example, the deceased performer Prince’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that certain medical professionals failed the singer in the weeks preceding his death.
What, however, are the terms which allow people to pursue such cases? What is a wrongful death lawsuit, and when can you file one?
Continue reading to find out and discover the types of damages you can collect in wrongful death cases.
What Constitutes as a Wrongful Death?
The term “wrongful death” can be tricky to understand if you’re not a legal professional. That’s because death is painful and leads many people to feel that something is amiss when a loved one passes away.
Despite such feelings, there are legal definitions which limit what we can consider a wrongful death. A few examples of situations which may lead to wrongful death suits include:
- Vehicular accidents
- Reliance on defective products
- Medical negligence
The wrong death suit Prince’s family filed is an example of the third situation on the list. The deceased singer’s family has argued that medical professionals didn’t do enough to address his opioid addiction prior to his death.
Note, however, that the overdose alone isn’t enough to file a wrongful death suit in such a case. We can’t always blame medical professionals when our loved ones ingest too much of a drug.
In any case, for more information about what constitutes as a wrongful death, please use this resource we’ve put together.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
You might assume that you can file a wrongful death lawsuit if a victim was incredibly close to you. Unfortunately, though, that’s not always the case.
Laws differ from state to state. In some states, for instance, the parents of adult children can’t file wrongful death lawsuits if their children are killed. In other states, adult children can’t file wrongful death lawsuits if their parents are killed.
And there are several other restrictions in place in some states.
Still, there are familial relationships that guarantee you the right to file a wrongful death suit assuming that the situation calls for one. Spouses, for example, may file a suit on behalf of their deceased partners. Parents can also file suits on behalf of their minor children and vice versa.
What Type of Damages Can You Collect?
Successful wrongful death cases can yield huge payouts, especially if the defendants are large corporations. In 2013, for example, Toyota agreed to a settlement that was worth more than $1 billion. The amount was divided among hundreds of victims.
So what types of damages can victims collect? Defendants may collect damages for:
- A victim’s pre-death pain
- Funeral costs
- A victim’s medical costs incurred because of an injury (prior to death)
- Loss of love
The list goes on and on. That said, be sure to consort with a lawyer to find out what types of damages for which you may qualify.
Looking to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The loss of a loved one can be earth-shattering, and filing a wrongful death lawsuit can offer survivors some peace of mind.
Having said that, if you’re looking to file a wrongful death claim, please contact us today. By contacting us, you’ll be able to speak to a skilled attorney who can help you put your case together.