Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by those who have survived wrongful deaths, for those who have perished. These lawsuits are filed by survivors who are looking for justice or compensation for pain and suffering caused by their loved one’s wrongful death (or other cases of liability).
The “Wrongful Death” Lawsuit
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family of a deceased person can sue for damages to compensate them for the loss of their loved one. In most cases, the deceased family member’s estate will be responsible for the wrongful death case.
In other words, if someone dies because of an accident or injury caused by another person’s actions and then that person is found liable for their actions, the estate is responsible for paying any damages related to that death.
The “Manifest Heir”
The person who can assert a wrongful death claim is the “manifest heir.” The manifest heir is the person who would inherit if the decedent’s estate were to pass under intestacy. For example, if John Doe dies and has a will but no living spouse or children, his estate passes under intestacy to his mother.
The mother has the right to sue for wrongful death lawsuit because she is the manifest heir of John Doe.
Types Of Wrongful Death
There are three types of wrongful death:
- Intentional or Negligent Act – If the person who committed the act intended to harm or kill someone, then you may have a cause of action for wrongful death. This can be done through criminal charges or civil litigation.
- Intentional or Negligent Act – If the person who committed the act acted negligently, but not intentionally, you may have a cause of action for wrongful death. This can be done through criminal charges or civil litigation.
- Accident – This is when someone has been killed in an accident that was not his/her fault and no one could reasonably foresee what would happen at the time of the accident.
Being An Individual Plaintiff
The most common way to sue for wrongful death is as an individual plaintiff. This means that you are suing on behalf of the deceased person’s estate, which can be individuals or a group of people.
Know Your Legal Rights And Options
The law does not require that you be directly involved with the accident to become a plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. If someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death, but you were not aware of that fact at the time of the accident, then it is possible for you to later find out that they were at fault and claim damages on their behalf.