What is considered a wrongful death?

wrongful death

The death of a friend or family member is always devastating. However, a death that is caused by negligence or recklessness can be even more difficult to handle. The wrongful death law in Wyoming and other states strives to get compensation for deaths caused by recklessness and negligence.

The Specifics of Wrongful Death

When one individual fatally harms another, there are consequences. However, those consequences don’t only involve jail time or fines. They can also involve compensation to the loved ones of the deceased.

Whether or not there was malice and intent of murder, there could be a wrongful death claim. Recklessness or negligence is enough for a wrongful death attorney to file a wrongful death claim. The claim accuses an individual or business of some type of misconduct or negligence against the deceased.

Most commonly, a wrongful death claim occurs after someone faces criminal charges for the death of an individual. The claim opens the door for loved ones of the deceased to receive compensation for their loss. Because it is a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof is less than the criminal case. An individual could be innocent in the criminal case, but responsible for compensation in the wrongful death case.

In some situations, a wrongful death claim could be the only legal action taken against the offender. You don’t need to have a state court case to file a claim. The civil court can’t impose jail or prison time, but it can force the offender to pay compensation to you and other family members.

What Defines a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death refers to a very specific type of incident. Here is a closer look at some of the key details that define a wrongful death:

  • The incident resulted in a death
  • The death occured because of the negligence of another or because one individual has the intent to harm the deceased
  • There is a personal representative for the estate of the deceased
  • The deceased has surviving family members who are suffering from their loss

Examples of Wrongful Death

It can be difficult to understand what circumstances resulted in a wrongful death. Fortunately, a Wyoming wrongful death lawyer can help you understand if you have a claim.

Here are a few examples of wrongful death:

1. Medical malpractice

When you go to the doctor, you trust that they will do everything in their power to keep you healthy and safe. But this doesn’t always happen. When a medical professional violates the standard of care and causes the death of a patient, the incident is a wrongful death. Their medical malpractice could result in compensation for you and other family members.

2. Car accident

In 2016, there were 34,439 car accidents that resulted in fatalities. In some of those accidents, the surviving driver is responsible. The reckless driving or failure to observe driving laws could make the incident a wrongful death claim. For example, a drunk driver could be responsible for paying compensation to surviving family of a fatal accident.

3. Workplace accidents

An employee places their trust in an employer. They trust that the employer will do their best to keep the workplace safe.

However, that doesn’t always happen. In 2016, the private sector experienced 4,693 work-related deaths. Some of those deaths occurred because of employer neglect or recklessness. In certain workplace fatalities, a wrongful death attorney could file a wrongful death claim.


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