What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a type of legal claim where a family can force someone who was careless to make up for the harm caused if that carelessness led to someone’s death.
In short, if someone was careless and that led to a person’s death, the person who was careless can be forced to fix or make up for the harm that was caused.
How Do Injuries Impact People in The U.S.?
Accidents—or unintentional injuries—are the #1 cause of death among people ages 1-44 years. They are the 4th leading cause of death among all age groups in the US, behind only heart disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive lung disease. Tobacco, physical activity, and diet are three preventable causes of death from heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases. Injuries are often caused by human factors that were preventable. Motor vehicle crashes, medical errors, workplace injuries, premise liability cases, products liability cases, and nursing home injury, neglect and abuse can all result in wrongful death claims.
3 Most Common Causes of Unintentional Injury Deaths Among All Age Groups in The United States in 2014
Examples of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases may come from any type of personal injury action where a person has been killed. For example, a wrongful death claim may be brought against a careless driver, a health care provider, a crane operator, or property owner who has been careless.
If a truck driver is killed because someone was careless and caused a crash, the wife and children of that truck driver can bring a claim. In that case, the careless driver will be forced to make up for the harms that come from that family losing their main financial support. The careless person will be responsible to replace the income that the widow and children should have expected from their husband and father. That income was lost because of the driver’s carelessness and now they have to make up for the harm they caused.
In New York the law limits that recovery to the monetary value of the goods, services or financial support that the family was getting from the person that died. Sadly, that portion of the law can lead to some seemingly unfair results for people that are retired or children. After all, a child does not offer monetary support to the family when they are very young. A retired person is often past the point where they are out earning money.