Wrongful Death Claim: What are its Limitations?

 A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit filed against a person who, due to reckless behavior or misconduct, has caused the death of an individual. Typical examples of this are deaths caused by medical malpractice or work-related accidents. The actions may be deliberate or not but the main point is that these actions has caused the wrongful death of a person.

Wrongful Death Claims Against Whom?

A wrongful death claim can be filed against anyone with the grounds that:

  • It is proven that the actions of      the individual are the real cause of the death as well as the injuries      suffered by the deceased.
  • The family of the individual has      suffered from emotional as well as financial damages due to the death of      their family member.

If the above mentioned are both satisfied, then a wrongful death claim could certainly be filed.

Even the local government or the state can be subject to a wrongful death claim. If it is proven that the government’s actions or decisions has caused the death of an individual, the family can file for wrongful death and ask for compensation.

People who have made misconducts or have acted recklessly and ended up causing death can definitely subjected against a wrongful death claim. One example that was given was a man who refuses to close his swimming pool despite orders from the local government. If it happens that a child swims in it then drowns then the man can be accused of wrongful death. His refusal to close down the pool led to the death of the child.

Though these are the grounds for being accused of wrongful death, one exemption is the death of an unborn fetus. This is because an unborn fetus has no distinct legal rights until he/she was born. 

Family Immunity

There used to exist a doctrine of family immunity. This states that family members are exempted from being subject to a wrongful death claim. There are two main reasons as to why this was implemented.

  • The first reason is to promote      family harmony. The state wishes that good relationship among family      members should exist even through times wherein a relative has died.
  • The second reason is to avoid any      form of conspiracy. A wrongful death claim can be used by some people to      defraud an insurance company.

But then, many states abolished this doctrine yet some limitations were retained. One is that an adult child may file a wrongful death claim against his/her parents but a minor child is not allowed to do so.

A wrongful death claim has implemented these grounds and restrictions so as to avoid any form of abuse of law. The basis mentioned earlier should all be met for a person to be convicted of causing a wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is usually filed in order to compensate for the damages brought upon by the death of an individual. Such purpose of a wrongful death claim may lead to some conspiracy and abuse of rights. wrongful death lawyer