A wrongful death action refers to a death that was caused due to the fault of another person, product or company. For example, deaths caused by drunk driving, failure to diagnose a fatal disease, the manufacture of a dangerous or defective product, or improper building construction, may all be considered under the law as wrongful deaths. Wrongful death claims or lawsuits are generally filed by beneficiaries or family members of the deceased person. In some cases, these claims can be filed in order to obtain monetary damages to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided. Other damages that may be recovered include:
- Loss of that person’s companionship, care or protection
- Expenses associated with the death, such as medical and funeral
- Pain, suffering or mental anguish suffered by the survivor of the deceased person
- Loss of inheritance from an untimely death
- Pain, Lost benefits, such as insurance
In some circumstances, punitive damages, intended to punish wrongdoers and prevent them from harming others, can also be recovered.