Wrongful death is a legal term that is characterized by damages sought for the death of an individual that was either not criminal in nature or the result of a criminal attempt that was not successful. The term is applicable to situations where the person utilizing the legal system to gain said damages. It is often perpetuated by family members of the person who has died, as means to recoup at least something from the loss. The damages collected are often meant to address lost wages, expenses for funerals or just the price associated with the loss of the individual in question.
The burden of proof is on the individual bringing forth the suit. Elements of wrongful death cases include the following:
- Negligence - whereas the claim must show how the person being sued was negligent to the degree that it caused the death of their loved one.
- Causation - which would prove the way in which the person being sued contributed to the cause of death.
- Interruption of duty - represented by the fact that the person responsible for the death in question did not fulfill their duty.
- Damages in the case - associated with the cost incurred by the loved ones now that the person in question has died.
Wrongful death lawsuits are common and may be used in a variety of situations to ease the suffering, at least to the degree that financial assistance can do so, when a death of this nature has occurred.