Wrongful deaths are called such because something happened that resulted in a death that should not have. For instance, if a surgeon makes a mistake and a patient dies or if a car goes into the wrong lane and kills the driver of another vehicle, then those could be called wrongful deaths. Murder itself is also a type of wrongful death.
When a person dies, that doesn’t mean that any chance of claiming compensation is off the table. In fact, the family members of this person now may have the right to sue for their loved one’s wrongful death. Interestingly, it’s easier to prove a wrongful death with a lower standard of proof than in many other kinds of cases, but simply proving the death isn’t enough to result in the person responsible receiving a conviction for the crime.
Several elements make up a wrongful death lawsuit. First, a human must have died. At this point in time, family pets aren’t considered in wrongful death cases. The death must have been caused by another person’s negligence, whether or not the intent to cause harm is found.
The surviving family members must also be able to prove that they are suffering monetary injuries. For instance, if the breadwinner of a family passes away, that person’s spouse and children may file a claim requesting compensation for lost wages. Finally, a personally representative needs to be appointed by the family as a representative of the person’s estate.
If you have all these things in order, you may be ready to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have questions about your case in New Hampshire, be sure to speak with someone familiar with personal injury and wrongful death laws.
Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death Overview” accessed Jan. 28, 2015