Policy & Law

What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death?

3 Mins read

The growing global scare of the coronavirus pandemic has many people questioning whether there is someone responsible for the millions of deaths it is causing. Life is sacred, and nothing is more frustrating than knowing your loved one died from an unseen perpetrator due to a preventable cause.

Did your loved one die due to a preventable cause? How would you know if you could file for a wrongful death lawsuit? What qualifies as a wrongful death? Who could file a wrongful death claim? Read on below and find out important details that you should know about wrongful death:

What is a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death can result when the defendant failed to provide adequate care necessary to prevent a fatality. It can also be due to an intentional action to cause harm to the victim. However, there are cases in which the victim’s personal injury claim can be elevated to a wrongful death claim if the victim dies during the course of the litigation. According to seriouslawyers.com, a wrongful death claim can be filed by those left behind by the victim or by a representative responsible for the estate of the deceased.

What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death?

How do you know if a wrongful death claim can be filed against the defendant? Find out how a personal injury claim can become a wrongful death lawsuit.

The victim was killed intentionally.

Many confuse murder and wrongful death. While both of the crimes are done with the intent of killing the other person, murder is often filed by the state against the defendant. Wrongful deaths, on the other hand, are charges brought by the family on behalf of the deceased. For example, in the case of O.J. Simpson, he was charged with murder by the state. Additionally, a wrongful death claim was brought by the families of both Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown. Note that murder is one type of wrongful death. However, not all wrongful deaths may be considered murders.

Car accident death due to negligence.

If a person dies due to car accident injuries and because the other party was negligent, the bereaved family can file for a wrongful death claim to somehow give justice for the death of their loved one.

A patient dies due to medical malpractice.

Failing to diagnose a condition or failing to provide the best care possible, which resulted in the death of a patient can be considered a legal ground for filing a wrongful death case against the doctor. In some cases, the claim would begin from a personal injury, which can later on be

All these are just some of the examples of how a personal injury case can be elevated into a wrongful death claim.

Who Can File a Case of a Wrongful Death?

Ideally, the ones who can file a wrongful death are the relatives of the victim. There are cases, however, wherein a non-relative may be qualified to file a case if they can prove that the victim was financially responsible for their well-being and his or her death has caused them to suffer financially from it.

Sometimes, the family of the victim may also hire a representative to file the case for them. Cases like this are pretty common. In particular, with families who do not want to carry the burden of dealing with the back and forth of the case. This allows the family to grieve and mourn the death of their loved one.

Proving the Case

Note that the qualifier for this claim is the “death” of a person. While this may be enough to say that a defendant is guilty, the burden of proving the death resulting from negligence or intention is on the family or anyone who chooses to file the case. As such, it is mandatory to show evidence that the defendant failed to carry out the duty of care, and this breach resulted in the death of the victim. For example, in a wrongful death due to medical practice. The victims must show proof that there is willful neglect – that the patient was not given other available treatment options, which could have allowed the patient to survive and live a fruitful life.


Dealing with a loss is never easy. It comes with challenges, including adjusting to a new life without the presence of a significant person in your life. However, fighting for their case can help alleviate some of that grief. That said, there must be immediate action on your part, mainly that some states have a statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. Find out how soon can you file so you can immediately work on your case and get the justice that you deserve.

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