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WRONGFUL DEATH

Proving liability  (proving who is responsible) is virtually the same in a wrongful death action as in any other personal injury action.  When someone is killed in an auto accident, by a product, or by medical malpractice, it does not change the type of case.  The case is still an auto accident, a product liability, or medical malpractice case.  The main difference between a death case and an injury case is in the proof of damages.  In a personal injury case the damages consist of items such as medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, disfigurement and disability.  In a wrongful death action we are able to recover damages suffered by a personís spouse and children, and if they have no spouse or children, then their parents, brothers and sisters.  These relatives can recover for loss of financial support and loss of society.  Loss of society includes loss of love, affection, care, attention, companionship, comfort, guidance and protection.  Also, if the person survived for any period of time before his or her death we can also recover for his/her medical bills and pre-death pain and suffering.  Other important concerns in a wrongful death action are procedural issues such as who has the power to bring such a suit (such as a relative or the personís estate).

 

 

 

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