When someone in your family passes away, it is a devastating experience. When their death comes because of someone’s negligence, you may feel outrage on top of your grief. Family members of someone who died due to such a circumstance can sue the responsible person for wrongful death. You and your family members may want to get compensation for that person’s actions, and your family will also need to support each other through the process.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death claim states someone acted wrongfully, and their act caused your loved one’s death. They may have done their job in a way that caused the death. A machine they made could have been malfunctioned and led to death.
A cook could have fatally prepared food, or a pharmaceutical company could have made a faulty drug. If anything like this caused your loved one’s death, you may be able to create a wrongful death claim.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
The person permitted to bring a wrongful death suit can vary by state, but in most states, a spouse can file the lawsuit. If the deceased person doesn’t have a spouse, their adult child can file. When a child dies, the parents will typically be the ones to present the case.
There could be a dispute between family members about who will file the suit, and the court may receive two or more claims. In most states, only one claim is allowed per person. In those states, the multiple claims will be combined into one claim. If the person who died left a will, the executor of the will is the one who will be permitted to file the wrongful death claim.
What if the Death Was Unintentionally Caused?
Someone’s actions may have caused your loved one’s death, yet their actions were not intentional. To prove a wrongful death, you have to prove that your loved one’s death was caused directly by that person’s actions with evidence. The action doesn’t have to be intentional.
For example, according to the National Library of Medicine, the first documented death from gene therapy, a medical procedure now approved by the FDA for certain diseases, occurred in 1999, when an 18-year-old man agreed to be part of a gene therapy study. While identification by labeling is considered to be the key to product quality and effectiveness of gene and cell therapy, labeling was not the problem with this man’s death. He had a severe immune reaction to the gene therapy and died four days later.
How Do You Provide Emotional Support for Your Family During This Time?
All the difficult feelings associated with a family death can be heightened by a wrongful death. Be present with each family member, and remember the grieving process can differ for each person. For some people, talking about their feelings will help them process their grief. Other family members may take longer to speak about it.
As a family, you can do something simple together, like guided breathing exercises, to reduce your shared feelings of stress. After all, breathing is the most frequent bodily activity a person does. Since people breathe approximately 25,000 times a day, using breathing to help you and your family can be therapeutic. Anything that brings you all together positively can be a good thing.
When your loved one passes away under circumstances caused by someone else, it could bring you closure to file a wrongful death suit. Although nothing can bring your loved one back, this can be something you can do to honor them. You can bring this lawsuit to discourage others from taking the same action and harming someone else.