When your spouse, child, parent or other close relative dies because of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, you have the right to sue the person responsible for your loved one’s death. This represents a civil suit for which the only thing you can receive are money damages.
FindLaw explains that you must prove the following in order to win your wrongful death suit:
- That your loved one died
- That the defendant(s) caused his or her death through his, her or their negligence or wrongdoing
- That the defendant(s) knew or should have known that his, her or their actions would harm your loved one
- That their actions represent the proximate cause of your loved one’s death
- That you suffered comjpensable damages due to your loved one’s untimely death
If you prevail in your wrongful death action you can expect to receive compensation for both your economic and noneconomic losses for such things as the following:
- Your loved one’s ambulance, hospital and medical bills
- His or her funeral expenses
- Your loss of his or her financial support
- Your loss of his or her love, companionship, guidance, etc.
- Your loss of your expected inheritance from him or her had (s)he lived to his or her full life expectancy
The judge or jury also may award you punitive damages, an amount above and beyond your actual damages, if (s)he or they determine that the defendant(s) acted in a particularly egregious manner in causing your loved one’s death.
While no amount of money can make up for the loss of your loved one, winning a wrongful death suit can not only provide you with a sense of closure, but also a sense of justice.