Our Blog

Wrongful Death Lawsuits 101

Wrongful Death Lawsuits 101

Losing someone you love is never easy, but when their death comes out of a tragedy or accident, it can make the grieving process even more difficult. In circumstances where someone loses their life due to the negligence of another party, this is legally known as “wrongful death.” In many cases, the family or other surviving loved ones/dependents may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages. Most wrongful death lawsuits follow a criminal trial, as most deaths due to negligence are tried as criminal acts. However, your case may be different, so it’s important to talk to a qualified San Diego wrongful death attorney about your unique circumstances.

Some occurrences that may lead to someone’s wrongful death include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Fires
  • Chemical leaks or spills
  • Hazardous occupational exposures
  • Boating accidents
  • Airplane accidents
  • Medical mistakes/malpractice
  • Criminal activity

In today’s litigious society, it can be hard to know what actually counts as negligence, and what doesn’t. Placing fault upon another individual or entity can be a weighty decision, especially when their actions (or lack thereof) lead to someone’s untimely death. But when you think about the extreme suffering that family members are forced to endure, it is reasonable to at least explore the wrongful death suit option, as a way to get justice and closure for your loved ones. There are many things that can be considered as “damages,” and can be eligible for compensation under the law in cases like these.

Pecuniary, or financial, damages cover the main award areas in most wrongful death suits. These funds may be awarded to surviving family members to cover things like:

  • Medical costs accrued in the time before the person’s death
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of income/wages
  • Loss of health insurance coverage
  • Loss of parental support
  • Loss of physical and emotional support/intimacy
  • Loss of prospective inheritance

In some cases (depending on your state’s laws), punitive damages may also be awarded when particularly malicious intent was involved in the person’s death. Punitive damages are designed to punish wrongdoers, and are generally only awarded in certain cases where the actions were especially serious or criminal in nature. Emotional and mental suffering, on the part of the surviving family, may be severe, and this is also taken into account in a wrongful death case, especially when there are minor children involved. Since every case is different, it’s a good idea to reach out to an experienced wrongful death attorney in San Diego, and discuss your legal options. The Benner Law Firm is here for you- get in touch with us today and ask for your free case evaluation.

FREE STRATEGY SESSION