To many, the term “wrongful death lawsuit” may seem something of a misnomer. After all, when you lose a loved one, their death will always feel wrong, but knowing that their death need not have happened makes it all the worse.
Although nothing can return life to the one you have lost, knowing that those responsible are being held accountable may bring some closure.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death claim may be made against a wide variety of entities, such as individuals or companies, when they are legally at fault for the death of another. The defendant will have caused this death in one of several ways, though it is most commonly the result of negligence.
Types of Wrongful Death
There are many types of wrongful death, but they can generally be considered to be the result of either negligence or intentional action.
In British Columbia, auto accidents are easily one of the most common causes of wrongful death. Each accident is unique, occurring under a range of circumstances such as distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and poor road conditions.
Another, perhaps less obvious type of wrongful death involves medical malpractice, which could be related to several issues such as surgical errors, prescription or medication errors, excessive anaesthesia, bad weather, or misdiagnosis.
Who Can Be Held Liable For a Wrongful Death?
The party whose actions led to an individual’s death can be held responsible. For example, a motorist who was driving under the influence when they caused an accident leading to death can be held liable. They may also be held liable for driving in an unsafe manner during poor weather conditions.
In essence, if a given party’s actions are what led to the death of the victim, whether intentionally or accidentally, they are the ones to be held liable. This may even be a corporation in the case of a death caused by faulty products.
To file a wrongful death claim, it must first be demonstrated that the death was caused by the negligence or deliberate actions of the other party.
Costs of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim, not a criminal case. Typically, a civil lawsuit may cost between $1,500 and $5,000 to initiate an action and have a lawyer deliver a Statement of Claim. Another $3,000 to $5,000 may be spent responding to the other side’s documents and conducting examinations of discovery. Preparing your case and presenting it at trial can cost an additional $5,000 to $15,000. This is one reason why many lawsuits are settled out of court.
AD&D Insurance: A Good Place to Start
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance provides coverage due to death or dismemberment that results from a qualifying accident and is a good means of supplementing your life insurance and medical coverage.
AD&D insurance may be particularly attractive to those of a younger age, as they are statistically more likely to die from an accident than illness. Workers who rely on their physical capabilities will often consider an AD&D policy.
Losing a loved one is never easy but having AD&D insurance can at least offer some peace of mind and financial support to those left behind.