Wrongful Death

Generally, wrongful death is the outcome when someone killed another because of misconduct or negligence. As stated by the law, the bereaved or decedent's representatives can file a civil action to claim non-economic and economic damages brought by the decedent's wrongful death. The wrongful death lawsuit's civil action is different from criminal charges because there's a lower standard of proof in civil cases than criminal charges.

For civil cases, the decedent’s representative may refer to parents of unmarried children, spouses, and children. Some states allow grandparents and siblings to file a claim, while other states don't. The representative may recover non-economic or punitive damages, such as pain and suffering. However, some states don't include non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Economic damages include lost prospect of inheritance, loss of income and support, lost household expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, and medical and funeral expenses.

Although different states have their procedure and criteria for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, the causes of wrongful death are generally from the following circumstances:

Due To Medical Malpractice

When a patient dies due to a healthcare provider's negligence, wrongful death due to medical malpractice occurs. Healthcare providers can refer to pharmacists, hospital staff, midwives, surgeons, nurses, and doctors. Medical malpractice may include the following:
  • Medication errors
  • Delayed treatment
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Birth injuries
  • Surgical errors

Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis

If you suspect that your loved one died due to medical malpractice, you can ask a wrongful death attorney to assess if your case is eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit against the healthcare provider. You can even file a lawsuit against the hospital due to the negligence of their healthcare providers or the hospital's negligence may be due to failure to repair or maintain its equipment and hiring and supervising the employees at the hospital without proper assessment.

Due To Car Accidents

Car Accidents
As for wrongful death because of a car accident, the fault may be of another driver, authorities with road safety maintenance, or a vehicle manufacturer. As mentioned, the representative of the decedent can file a claim in the form of a civil case.

However, the representative should file it immediately because most car accident state laws have a statute of limitations on these cases. Some states only allow the representative to file a wrongful death lawsuit due to an auto accident within two years from the date of the accident. Depending on the type of vehicle involved, like city buses and other vehicles that the government owns, some states may have a shorter statute of limitation.

Here are factors that can cause a wrongful death car accident:
  • A chauffeur, cab driver, and other hired drivers who didn't follow road safety laws
  • Trucking companies who deliberately require their drivers to drive longer than the federal legal limitation
  • Inadequately trained driver
  • Improperly maintained or inspected trucks for safety
  • Faulty car released by manufacturers or distributors
  • Poorly maintained road or highway
  • Driver's poor judgment, recklessness, fatigue, or intoxication
  • Using mobile phones while driving


When a wrongful death occurs, the decedent leaves their family members broke in spirit and, in most cases, in finances. Especially if the person who died is the breadwinner, the representatives have the right to file a claim against the person or entity who caused the wrongful death. When they win the civil case, they can receive compensation to help them get through their loss.

That's why if any of the two mentioned wrongful death occurs, you should immediately file a wrongful death lawsuit.