How A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works

All wrongful death claims are filed against a defendant who kills another individual either intentionally or through negligence. Under wrongful death claim, you are allowed to file a lawsuit against an individual who is legally responsible for the death. Such lawsuits are usually filed by a legal representative on behalf of the remaining family members and the affected parties.

Under what circumstances should you file a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim can be filed if the victim is killed intentionally or due to the defendant’s negligence. There are various situations under which this can occur including:

Medical Malpractice – A doctor may fail to diagnose a particular condition correctly or might as well be careless in providing the required health care services leading to the death of the patient. Such death can bring about a wrongful death claim.

Car Accident Death – A negligent driver can cause an accident for failing to observe road safety rules. If such an accident causes fatalities, then a wrongful death claim can be filed.

Murder – Intentional murders are those involving a harmless and unarmed victim. A wrongful death lawsuit can also be filed in this case.

A wrongful death claim can result from most types of personal injury events with the only exception being the death caused by a work injury in which case would be handled exclusively by the worker’s compensation system.

What must be proven in a wrongful death claim?

For the perpetrator to be held liable for wrongful death, the petitioners must meet a similar burden of proof to what the victim would have been required to meet if they were still alive. By using a negligence case example, the petitioners should prove that the defendant had an obligation to care for the victim and that this duty was breached. The petitioner should also prove that this breach was the immediate cause of death.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

A representative of the victim’s estate should file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the remaining family members and the affected parties. A spouse can also file a wrongful death claim on behalf their spouse. In a situation where the victim is a minor, the parents can file a wrongful death claim and vice versa. However, as the family relationship becomes more distant, it may be harder to recover damages in a wrongful death case.

Wrongful Death Damages

Some damages awarded to the survivors for compensation may include:

  • The pre-death pain and suffering of the deceased.
  • The medical costs incurred by the victim due to the subsequent injuries before death
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of the expected income of the deceased
  • Loss of inheritance
  • The value of services which would have been provided by the victim
  • Loss of nurturing, guidance, and care which would have been provided by the deceased
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Loss of consortium

If you find yourself or a loved one in a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to ensure that all damages and liabilities are covered. If you reside in the Pensacola, Florida area consider contacting Michael E Fenimore, P.A. for legal representation. Please visit to learn more about us.