What is wrongful death? And examples
A wrongful death claim occurs when the negligence or intentional actions of one party lead to the death of another person. When this happens, the family of the dead usually files a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits take place when the family members of the dead seek justice for the person that died. The defendant may have caused the death by accident, negligence, or even intentional actions.
Examples of wrongful death lawsuits are many, but one high-profile case was the death of Pop Star Michael Jackson. When he died, Katherine Jackson plus the entertainer’s three children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live. The Jackson family claimed that not only did AEG fail to pick up on the warning signs of Michael’s health, they also hired the doctor, Conrad Murray. Murray administered the fatal dose of a strong anesthetic that killed the legendary performer.
Joe Jackson, the father/former manager filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the doctor Conrad Murray. The first case was thrown out before the talent manager refiled another one over the death of his son. Joe Jackson hired a wrongful death attorney to plead his case.
What do you need for your wrongful death lawsuit?
When building a wrongful death case, there are several factors you need to be able to prove. The culpability of the defendant is determined by if you can prove these factors. So what are they?
- Negligence of duty
You must be able to prove that the death of your relative was caused by complete or partial negligence of duty on the part of the defendant.
2.Breach of duty
You must be able to prove that the defendant failed or did not execute their duty to the dead. Using the Michael Jackson example above, Joe Jackson filed this lawsuit for two reasons. The doctor had failed to check Michael Jackson’s previous dosages before dulling him with the powerful anesthetic. Dr. Murray failed to immediately provide emergency personnel with the accurate information needed to save Mr. Jackson’s life. You must be able to prove that there was a breach of duty from the defendant. A doctor has to make sure that their patient is safe.
3.Causing the death
You must prove that the negligence of duty or breach of duty (partially or fully) led to the death of your loved one.
Who is qualified to file a wrongful death case on behalf of the deceased?
Several people can file a wrongful death case on behalf of the dead. Representatives of the deceased’s estate usually file for wrongful death on behalf of the survivors. The survivors include the children, wife, parents, etc. However, not that there is no permanent definition of who the “survivors” are. It varies in different states. A partner is seen as a survivor in most states. As are the parents of a minor killed in a wrongful death case. Some states take it to a new level as they allow whoever is financially dependent on the victim to file for wrongful death.