An estimated 37 million people are harmed unintentionally every year, including thousands who lose their lives in these accidents. The sudden and unanticipated loss of a loved one can be devastating for the entire family. In addition to the grief that follows such a death, there can often be financial chaos, especially when the family’s primary breadwinner has died.

When someone dies due to another’s negligence or misconduct, there may be opportunities to compensate the surviving family via wrongful death litigation. In some cases, a criminal investigation and prosecution may take place regarding the accident and, if found guilty, could lead to jail time for the guilty party. 

A wrongful death lawsuit is different. It is a civil lawsuit that allows the family to seek financial compensation (both economic and non-economic damages) from those responsible for their loved one’s death. People or companies can be held liable for negligent actions (failing to take steps that a reasonable person would have taken) or for acting intentionally to harm.

A few examples of wrongful death claims include:

Car Accidents: Most accidents are caused by driver negligence (speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting, etc.).

Work Accidents: Most fatal accidents take place on construction sites or at factories.

Truck Accidents: Many car, bike or motorcycle accidents with commercial trucks result in death.

Defective Products: Companies can be liable if their faulty products caused the death.

Medical Malpractice: When medical personnel make errors that end in death.

Slip and Falls: When a property owner fails to remove hazards from his/her property.

Regarding whom can file a wrongful death suit, state laws vary. All states allow immediate family members of the victim and their representatives to seek compensation. Some states allow anyone who was financially dependent on the victim to file a claim, while others allow anyone who suffers financially to do so. In almost all cases, it’s up to those filing the suit to prove the guilty party’s negligent or intentionally harmful actions.

These lawsuits typically are extremely complex and typically occur at a devastating time for the family. Feelings of confusion, frustration and grief can prompt families to make hasty and sometimes unwise decisions. It makes sense to consult a wrongful death attorney to understand your rights under the law.Families experiencing such losses understandably have many questions. There are many options available to them, as an experienced attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, at a firm like The Law Office of Eglet Adams, can explain.