Wrongful death is the “Taking of the life on an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons.” This means that the act the caused the injury led to death may have been intentional or not. When someone dies as a consequence of the negligence or misconduct of other or others, heirs or other beneficiaries may file a legal action against the responsible/s of such death. Each state has different wrongful death statutes which define who are entitled to sue, and which are the limits. For such reason, a state´s local wrongful death attorney will be the best choice. Moreover, some states do not accept determined types of damage awards or may have different limitations when establishing the period within you can file suit.
It is important to note that wrongful death actions are to provide financial support to heirs, and they are completely different actions from any criminal actions that might be taken.
Another important question that arises from wrongful death is the situation of unborn fetuses. In most cases, wrongful death statutes do not apply to them, as legal status is not acquired until being born alive. A lawyer will give you the particular law that rules in your state. However, if a baby is born alive, and later dies as a consequence of an injured he suffered before being born; a wrongful death action may be initiated.
Each state determines the amount of the compensatory damages that beneficiaries may recover. Typically this includes medical and funeral costs, an estimate of the economic amount they could have obtained if the decedent had survived and, in certain cases, an amount of money to compensate for loss or grief. Nevertheless, if the decedent never worked, she/he may have contributed to the household in a different manner; take for example stay-at-home moms or dads who contribute from different roles, which can be quantifiable as pecuniary losses too. If the decedent was a child or an elderly person, you could initiate wrongful death action too, although the compensations for these two group ages of decedents tend to be quite modest.
That being said, a wrongful death as a financially compensatory action is a civil case conducted by a wrongful death attorney where the defendant will have an economic judgment entered. On the other side, there is the criminal case, which arises when the government seeks punishment against and the individual whose actions have been classified as a crime. In criminal cases, the penalty is not monetary; it is usually imprisonment.
A wrongful death action has many aspects that need to be addressed, and laws vary from state to state. Seek the advice of a prominent wrongful death attorney in your area for best results. Nothing will compensate for your loss, but at least some financial relief will alleviate your suffering and stressed mind.