When Is a Death Considered Wrongful
The death of a loved one is painful, but when the death could have been prevented, it can make the pain unbearable. Although no amount of money can ease the grief of losing a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can help bring some financial relief and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.
It’s important to understand that not all deaths are legally considered a wrongful death. So when is a death considered wrongful? The Brooklyn, NY, attorneys of Zucker & Regev, P.C., would like to take a moment to explain wrongful death and what options families have in pursuing damages.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
In simplest terms, wrongful death is a legal term that refers to deaths caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party. In other words, the death would not have happened if it weren’t for the negligent actions of another party.
When it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, additional criteria must be met in order to consider a death wrongful. The following are some of the criteria necessary to consider a death wrongful.
Breach of Duty Occurred
A breach of duty means that a certain standard of care wasn’t taken in performing a responsibility. A breach of duty is necessary when submitting a wrongful death claim.
A breach of duty may occur when a driver is reckless while operating their vehicle. Drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely according to road conditions. When someone speeds or drives while under the influence of alcohol, they have breached their duty to drive safely.
Death Was Caused by Negligence
In order to be considered a wrongful death, an act of negligence must have caused the death. Negligence can include reckless behavior, carelessness, or acting irresponsibly.
For example, negligence by a doctor can lead to serious injury to a patient, failure to treat a condition, or misdiagnosis.
Negligence may also occur in the workplace. An employer may fail to provide proper training to employees or fail to provide proper safety gear when employees operate hazardous machinery. When such negligence causes a death, there may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Death Has Caused Hardships
In addition to negligence and a breach of duty, a death must have also caused hardships and damages to the surviving family members in order to be considered a wrongful death and be brought before the courts.
Hardships may include:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of household income
- Loss of companionship
- Medical expenses
- Emotional pain and suffering
Recovering Damages Through a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If the criteria of a wrongful death is met, certain surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover financial compensation for the damages they’ve suffered.
In Brooklyn, the surviving spouse may file a lawsuit. Surviving children, the parents of the deceased, or a personal representative of the estate may also seek damages.
Schedule a Consultation with Zucker & Regev, P.C.
If you believe your loved one’s death was wrongful, it’s important to speak with an attorney to discuss your options in pursuing damages. To speak with one of our Brooklyn attorneys, please call (718) 624-1211 or contact us online.