If a person dies an unnatural death because of accidental or negligent actions of another person, he is said to suffer a wrongful death. In such case, the people who are survived by the deceased can file a lawsuit against the person whose actions caused the death. The accused is liable to provide monetary compensation to the family of the deceased. There are a lot of legal implications involved in the process. You can approach a wrongful death attorney in Silverdale for details.
How is wrongful death different from homicide?
Although the character of wrongful death and homicide are similar, there is a difference between the two. The similarity is that the victim dies. The difference is that a wrongful death is not caused by the intent of murder. Homicide is always committed with the intent of murder.
For example, if a person dies in a road accident caused due to the faulty braking system in the car, the manufacturer of the car can be held responsible for wrongful death and sued by the family of the deceased. Another example is medical malpractice. If the patient dies because of the negligence of the doctor, it is a case of wrongful death and not murder. In short, homicide is intentional and wrongful death is accidental.
The second difference is with regard to the prosecuting party. For homicidal cases, the state brings a lawsuit against the criminal. In wrongful death cases, it is not the state but the family of the victim that slaps a lawsuit on the accused.
The third difference is in terms of punishment. A person convicted of murder is imprisoned or given the death penalty. In wrongful death cases, the convicted person is not usually imprisoned, but has to pay monetary compensation to the family of the victim.
What kind of claims can be made?
The family of the victim can make claims for different reasons. Firstly, expenses related to death such as funeral and other medical demands. Secondly, compensation can be claimed for loss of income to the family because of the victim’s death. This includes the financial support that the victim could have provided in the future, had he lived.
Emotional distress is another aspect that can be compensated. However, chances of compensation for emotional distress are usually bleak unless the distress leads to severe repercussions such as inability to lead a normal life or developing psychological problems.
In addition to these compensatory amounts, the court also directs the accused to pay a certain amount as “punishment amount” in order to punish his behavior which led to wrongful death.
In certain cases, such as wrongful death of an elderly person who does not contribute financially to the well-being of the family, or the wrongful death of a child whose future contribution is uncertain, compensation amount is usually lower. In order to obtain justice and maximum compensation, you must contact a wrongful death attorney in Silverdale as soon as the incident occurs.
Otto Law Offices offers legal advice and representation for wrongful death cases in Silverdale. The law firm has been in business since 1980 and deals with personal injury cases, with emphasis on wrongful death.