In law, what constitutes wrongful death?
When an individual dies as a result of the actions of another person or entity, regardless of whether the actions were intentional or non-intentional, the deceased has suffered a wrongful death. If the survivors of the person who suffered the death can hire wrongful death attorneys in Cedar Rapids IA area and if grounds can be established that is was wrongful death, the survivors can sue for damages. In a wrongful death law suit the survivors are the ones to sue on behalf the deceased as the deceased can no longer speak for him or herself.
Should a person be the cause of someone else’s death, that individual can open themselves to criminal and civil liabilities. Let’s look at an example; a person is shot with a gun and dies, the person who shot the gun can be charged with murder which is a criminal offense and then be the subject in a wrongful death suit which is filed in civil court. During the criminal trial for murder the accused may be found guilty and punished with a long prison sentence and in the civil trial the convicted murderer may now find that he is obliged to pay damages to the victim’s survivors.
This example is one where the wrongful death was caused by an intentional act; wrongful deaths can also be the result of an accident. An example of a wrongful death which was caused by an accident could be negligence on the part of someone who was driving under the influence or someone who was involved in a fight. Wrongful death attorneys in Cedar Rapids IA can once again be engaged by the decedent’s survivors to bring suit against an individual who did something which resulted in the death of someone else and as result; the survivors are faced with financial distress and emotional damage. In cases such as this, the court can award damages to the survivors that include monies to compensate for all medical expenses as well as the funeral. Money will also be awarded that will compensate for the loss of income as well as compensation for the emotion distress suffered by the survivors.
The amount that is awarded by the court takes a number of things into account. The jury will expect the attorneys to provide information such as the income of the deceased and the number of years left prior to retirement. Issues such as pain and suffering on the part of the deceased before death might also be taken into account as might be the emotional distress suffered by the survivors.