Wrongful Death

Definition - What does Wrongful Death mean?

Wrongful death refers to the death of an individual caused by the negligent or reckless action of another.

In common law jurisdictions, wrongful death is also used to refer to claims brought by the family members of a deceased person against the individual(s) or entity(ies) that allegedly caused the death of their loved one due to negligent or reckless behavior.

Justipedia explains Wrongful Death

Wrongful death refers to an instance where someone is unintentionally killed in an accident or similar situation. A wrongful death usually leads to a civil action lawsuit instead of a criminal action suit. (Usually, the death was not intentionally caused.) For example, if a person dies using equipment that was improperly made, the company who manufactured the faulty equipment could be sued for wrongful death.

In a wrongful death suit, the close family members of the decedent or the estate of the decedent file a claim against the wrongdoer(s). If a person dies and leaves behind minors under the age of 18, these cases can be taken by an adult in the name of the minor(s). In some cases, a person only needs to be 16 to be able to take a case of this nature.

The intention of such claims is to seek compensation for the loss of the decedent, the loss of companionship, medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages of the decedent, etc.

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