A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when a victim dies because of negligence or any other kind of unjust action by a person or entity. An entity could be a company, an organization, or a hospital to name but a few. For example, wrongful death could be caused by product failure. Take a hypothetical case of brake failure because of a design defect which results in death of a person or persons. In such a case, the car manufacturer would be considered the responsible entity and liable to be sued for wrongful death.
The Same Theme
In wrongful death cases, the victim’s successors are entitled to monetary compensation because of negligent and improper conduct on the part of the defendant.
Laws do Not Always have to be Written Down
The right to bring an action for wrongful death is relatively new in the U.S., as “common law”, which was British law on which the American legal system is based, had no such provision. The right to bring a wrongful death action was created by federal and state courts in the 20th century. Every American state today has its own wrongful death law.
No One is Exempt
Wrongful death is widely encompassing. It covers all kinds of fatal accidents ranging from vehicle accidents to product liability cases and complex medical malpractice issues. Under this law, anyone can be held responsible who has acted negligently and failed to act in a reasonable manner, so causing the death of another. Anyone could be individuals, companies, and even governmental agencies.
A wrongful death claim is usually filed by a wrongful death attorney representing the successors to the victim. The defendants could be a single person or entity or be many people and organizations. For example, a car accident which involves a drunk driver and a faulty roadway; the people who could be held responsible and sued for the wrongful death are:
- The driver of the vehicle
- The builder or designer of the faulty roadway
- The government agency which did not provide enough warnings about the hazard ahead
- The establishment which sold liquor to the drunk driver
- The person who owns the premises where the liquor was consumed.