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Wrongful death

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:36 pm
Wrongful death is a term used to describe a situation in which a person is deprived of life through another person's negligence, carelessness, or malice. Wrongful death can also be defined as any fatal injury caused by a criminal while committing a crime. The causes of wrongful death can include negligence, assault, manslaughter, or murder. In cases where the victim's estate is suing for compensation, this generally only covers actual damages. In cases in which the victim's dependents or other close relatives are filing suit, compensation can be awarded for actual damages such as medical or other expenses, loss of love or companionship, and for loss of future economical support. In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must show that the death of the deceased was caused by negligence on the part of a particular practitioner, or by the hospital in which the victim was being treated. Such cases are often complicated, requiring the testimony of expert witnesses. In traffic-related deaths, there will generally be a police report that determines where the fault for the accident lies. Traffic-related deaths in which the driver at fault was found to be intoxicated often result in claims for compensation by the dependents of the deceased. The dependents or close relatives of the deceased victim of a crime can also sue the perpetrator for compensation for wrongful death. This civil trial is separate from any criminal trial that may be associated with the crime. For more information about wrongful death suits, contact an attorney specializing in this area of the law.
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