What is a Wrongful Death?
When a person is fatally injured because of the negligence or misconduct of another, including murder, the victim’s family may sue for damages associated with the death. An example of a wrongful death would be one where a family sues the manufacturer of a defective auto part responsible for a fatal car accident.
Wrongful death claims involve different types of fatal accidents including car accidents and complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases. Persons, companies, and governmental agencies can be legally at fault for acting negligently (failing to act as a reasonable person would have acted) and for acting intentionally.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Dependents of the victim are entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Other close family members may also be eligible for compensation depending on the circumstances. Laws regarding who can file a lawsuit may vary by state. In some states, adult children are not entitled to pursue damages, as only the spouse of the wrongful death victim can make the claim.
The plaintiffs bear the burden of proving that the defendant’s negligence or misbehavior caused their loved one’s death. They must also show how they suffered financially and/or emotionally as a result of the death of their family member.
Damages awarded in a wrongful death case
Family members may receive compensatory damages for financial losses related to the death. This may be used to cover the cost of funeral services, medical care, or to compensate dependents for the economic support they would have received if the victim had lived. In some cases, family members may also receive compensation for grief or loss of companionship.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in a wrongful death case if the defendants’ actions were reckless or heinous. Punitive damages are awarded by a jury and are designed to punish the responsible party and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
South Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Provide Compassionate Guidance and Legal Support for Families
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another, the South Jersey wrongful death lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. can help. With offices in Cherry Hill, King of Prussia, and Philadelphia, our caring, experienced attorneys handle wrongful death claims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To schedule a free case review, call 856-354-9444 or contact us online.