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Should I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Should I file a wrongful death lawsuit? If you are asking this question, it is probably because you have lost a loved one in a manner in which you believe your loved one should not have died.

In order to answer this question, you need to know what the law considers a wrongful death to be. A death is considered to be a wrongful death when that death occurs as a result of deliberate, negligent or reckless behavior or actions on the part of another person, persons, company or entity. To put it simply, a wrongful death is a death that should not have happened.

Intentional or unintentional

It is also important for you to understand that the intention of the party or parties responsible for the death of your loved one does not determine whether that death is a wrongful death. The behavior or act that results in the death of your loved one may be either intentional or unintentional. What this means is that any unnatural death that occurs because of another party or parties act or behavior is regarded as a wrongful death.

With this in mind, if you are going to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you have to prove that the death of your loved one was a wrongful death. You also have to establish that another party or parties were responsible for that wrongful death.

For them

A wrongful death lawsuit should be filed when your loved one would have had a personal injury claim, if they had lived, for their injuries that were the result of the negligence or intentional harmful act of another party or parties. You are actually making that claim on their behalf, even though, as a result of their death, it is now a wrongful death claim.

A wrongful death may occur in several different ways. These include:

When your loved one dies as a victim of medical malpractice
When your loved one dies as a result of a car accident that involves negligence
When your loved one is intentionally killed
When your loved one dies as a result of negligence or abuse in a nursing or care facility.

Another important thing to consider in whether you should file a wrongful death lawsuit is whether you have the right to file the lawsuit. In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you have to be a member of the decedent’s immediate family. Only the immediate family of a decedent are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

In many instances, the immediate family of a decedent are known as “distributees”. While wrongful death statutes vary from state to state, spouses, children and parents are the ones who are usually regarded as distributees.


Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not a simple matter. It involves a complicated process. In addition, you will most likely be going up against powerful, experienced attorneys who are representing an insurance company.

For these and other reasons, the best thing to do is to contact a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.

Article written by James Shugart

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