When someone loses a loved one in a tragic accident or incident that should not have occurred or could have been prevented, we refer to deaths like this as ‘wrongful deaths’. Under the U.S. legal system, family members who have experienced a wrongful death of a loved one may be able to file what is known as a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty individual, company, or entity that caused the incident or accident. Doing so may allow a family to begin to recover—both financially and emotionally.
Wrongful death cases are separate from criminal cases. Whereas a criminal case attempts to penalize a guilty individual for performing murder or manslaughter in the case of a death, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim that lets the family members of a deceased individual obtain damages (compensation) from the individual or party that was responsible. These damages can potentially go towards funeral costs, loss of wage costs, final medical costs, pain and suffering costs, and more.