Wrongful death is the term used when a person or other entity causes the death of another person. The death may be caused by the actions of someone or by their failure to act. Wrongful death is a civil action rather than a criminal action. Since the person killed (decedent) cannot file suit or collect damages, it is the family of the deceased that does so. The purpose of the law is to compensate family members who have suffered monetarily and emotionally from the death. Damages can be assessed for lost wages and benefits, loss of companionship, and the emotional pain and suffering caused by the trauma.
To prevail in a wrongful death case, it must be proven that the death would not have occurred without the defendant’s wrongful act or failure to act. The time between the defendant’s action and the death of the decedent is not a factor, as long as it can be proved that the defendant’s action was the cause of death. The following are examples of wrongful acts that can give rise to a claim for money damages based upon wrongful death:
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- Government negligence
- Premises liability (negligence building maintenance)
- Work accidents
- Bicycle and motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home negligence
- Product defect accidents
- Medication errors
It is important to know what to do to protect the legal rights of yourself and your loved ones. Selecting the right attorney is an important decision. You should choose someone who is experienced, aggressive, and dedicated to working to get fair compensation for the death of a loved one.
James Bendell is a Coeur d’Alene attorney with more than three decades of trial experience, including 16 years representing insurance companies in a wide variety of cases, including cases of wrongful death. If you’re in need of a wrongful death attorney in Kootenai County, North Idaho, call James at 208-665-4600 or send a quick response email for a free consultation about your family’s wrongful death case.