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What do you need to file a wrongful death suit?

A person dying is a tragedy for his or her own sake and the sake of those who loved this individual. Depending upon the the circumstances of their deaths, there may be cause for legal action. If you have lost someone you care about, you may be considering filing a wrongful death suit. Before you do, it is important to consider if the case qualifies.

The first thing to establish is that the death of the person in the case occurred due to one of two possible reasons. One is negligence, the failure of a culpable party to take care of something to such an extent that the failure directly contributed to the death. The second possible reason is intent to cause harm, with the culpable party having intentionally taken a path of action or inaction that was meant to harm the person who died.

In addition to these factors, wrongful death suits typically require the existence of surviving family members who are suffering some kind of monetary injury due to the death of their relative. If this is the case, they will have standing to file the suit. They will still need to ensure that a qualified personal representative is appointed to the decedent's estate.

Wrongful death cases can arise out of varied sets of circumstances that result in the death of the decedent. These include automobile or airplane accidents, criminal behavior, exposure to hazardous substances or conditions in the context of work, and medical malpractice. Each set of circumstances requires its specific package of information and analysis to determine fault.

If fault is determined, the relatives filing the wrongful death suit after the loss of a family member can be awarded damages. Since those damages can be very important to obtain, looking into the prospect of filing a wrongful death suit can be a good idea for anyone who recently lost a loved one.

Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Overview," accessed May. 11, 2015

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