Wrongful Death FAQs

Q: What is wrongful death?

A: A wrongful death lawsuit is a case that is filed against a person or business that was legally responsible for causing someone’s death.  These include negligent or careless conduct such as medical malpractice or car accidents, the design or manufacture of a defective product, and intentional acts such as assault.   

Q: Can any relative bring a wrongful death lawsuit?

A: In most cases, wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the fiduciary of the deceased person’s estate. The descendant’s spouse and in some instances children may also have a claim.

Q: Can a wrongful death action be brought if the deceased person did not have a job?

A:  Yes, even if the deceased person never held a job, he or she could have contributed in another way, such as a stay at home mom or dad.  Damages are also awarded for the loss of life itself.

Q: Can someone sue for the pain and suffering of a descendent?

A: Yes, in addition to the wrongful death, a decedent’s estate may recover damages for the pain and suffering that the descendent endured prior to death.

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