As everyone knows, accident victims can claim compensation for their personal injuries from parties responsible for the accident. Similarly, in cases where the accident proves fatal, the surviving family members have the same right to recover compensation for wrongful death. A brief guide to what wrongful death is, its common types, who can sue, persons who you can sue, and more:

Understanding Wrongful Death

A wrongful death may occur when a person or entity does not fulfill a legal duty or responsibility resulting in the person’s death. In such cases, certain surviving members of the dead person’s or his estate’s estate can sue the responsible person or entity. To qualify for compensation, the plaintiff must prove someone or some entity was negligent or committed a wrongful act intentionally, causing the death. He must also prove that the death has caused damages requiring compensation. According to Nolo, wrongful death compensation may be settled out of court or by a court trial.

While victims of personal injuries can claim compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering, and emotional trauma, the family of the deceased can claim all these as well as expenses of the funeral, burial, and the loss of future income and companionship of the deceased person, according to a partner at Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC, a leading personal injury law firm. Follow the map

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

A wrongful death may happen if a person dies due to an intentional and illegal act like assault or murder. You can also pursue a claim for wrongful death if any person or entity has been negligent and did not exercise a level of care reasonably expected by an average person in a similar situation.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death

Since a dead person cannot sue for wrongful death on his own behalf, people who are eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation include the surviving spouse, children or parents of the deceased, any other immediate member of the family, or a representative of the estate of the deceased person. The statute governing wrongful death in the state of the fatality will dictate the eligibility of persons who can file a claim.

Who Can You Sue For Wrongful Death

You can sue any person or entity responsible for causing the wrongful death, including drivers at fault, manufacturers of defective products, individuals or entities providing alcohol to impaired drivers involved in fatal accidents, designers and builders of faulty roads, government agencies not providing adequate warning of road hazards, medical professional committing malpractice, and more. However, the government may provide immunity to some employees and agencies from liability arising from their official duties. Also, family and relatives of deceased employees cannot sue employers for wrongful death on the job. Instead, the family should prefer a claim within the workers’ compensation system.


You should consult a personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitation in the court that has jurisdiction if you believe a family member is a victim of wrongful death. You can also negotiate with the individual or entity responsible for the death or its insurance company for an out-of-court settlement.