When another person is killed because of another person’s negligence or misconduct it is called wrongful death. Wrongful death is a separate civil action and different from any criminal charges even though there may still be criminal prosecution related to the death of the person. The standard of proof is lower in this case than it would be for a case of murder or manslaughter.
Some instances of wrongful death lawsuit include motor vehicle accidents, toxic torts, criminal activity, manufacturing defects, and medical malpractice. Wrongful death statues are different depending on the state. Each state has its own criteria and procedure for wrongful death lawsuits. There are certain agencies in special cases that have government immunity from the prosecution of wrongful death lawsuits.
A lawsuit may be filed from a representative on behalf of the decedent’s death. The representative depending on the state is on the behalf of the eligible survivors who experienced harm from the incident. The eligibility of family members depends on your state and the survivors are called “real parties of interest.” In order to sue the negligent party, spouses, children, and parents of children who are not married can act as a representatives. Depending on the state, other people like spouses or financial dependents can recover damages. In addition, other states may allow siblings and grandparents to make a claim.