How Do I Know If I Have a Wrongful Death Case?


If a person’s death was caused by the negligence or intentional act of another, the surviving family members may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit.  Wrongful death suits are brought to get compensation for the survivors’ loss, including the loss of wages, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and more.  Our Zinda Law Group attorneys may help guide you through the legal process and explain to you the circumstances in which to file a wrongful death case.

Our nationwide wrongful death attorneys are here to help you and your family.  Call (800) 863-5312 to speak with a Zinda Law Group attorney today for a free consultation.  Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers may help you and your family through this difficult time by lifting the burden of the legal process while you focus on grieving and getting your lives back on track.


You may have a wrongful death case if your family member lost their life due to another person’s negligence, or intentional act, and you, as the deceased’s family member, were directly impacted due to your loved one’s death.  It is important to remember that you must be able to prove negligence to seek compensation.

Each state may have different laws governing wrongful death lawsuits, so it is important to seek help from an experienced wrongful death attorney in your state to help explain the legal process and guide you through the next steps.


There are certain circumstances that must be proven before you can seek compensation for a wrongful death claim.  These circumstances are outlined below:

1. Death of a Human

There must be a fatality of a human to seek a wrongful death claim.

2. Cause of Death Caused by Another Individual’s Negligence or Intent to Harm

When bringing a wrongful death claim, the party seeking compensation will have to meet the same burden of proof as the deceased would have had to meet if he or she was still living.  This means that the party seeking compensation must be able to prove that the defendant was negligent, or intended to harm the decedent, and his or her negligence or intent resulted in the death of the decedent.

To prove negligence, it must be shown that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, the defendant breached that duty of care, the breach was the cause of the decedent’s death, and the death caused damages to the family member bringing the wrongful death claim.

3. Monetary Suffering and Injustice of the Deceased’s Surviving Family

There must be monetary suffering and injustice to seek compensation.  This means that at least one member of the deceased’s family suffered quantifiable suffering as a direct result of the death of their loved one. Monetary suffering and injustice may include loss of the deceased’s expected income, loss of inheritance, and funeral and burial expenses.

4. An Established Personal Representative of the Deceased’s Estate

Not everyone can bring a wrongful death lawsuit.  The list of individuals who may bring a wrongful death case varies from state to state, so it is important to contact a wrongful death attorney in your state to determine who may bring the lawsuit in your case.  However, if the deceased had a will, the wrongful death suit is typically brought by an established personal representative of the deceased’s estate or by a surviving family member.


There are many different reasons to file a wrongful death case.  As the victim of the fatal injury is deceased, it is on the surviving family members or the deceased’s estate to bring a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf.  Below are examples of reasons to bring a wrongful death claim:

1. Medical Malpractice

A wrongful death case may arise when a patient dies as a result of medical malpractice.  Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or healthcare provider is negligent, and that negligence results in the patient’s death.  here are many different ways medical malpractice may occur.  Some examples may include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or medication errors.

2. Car Accident

In the United States, there were in motor vehicle collisions in 2019 alone. According to the most recent distracted driving statistics, 3,166 people were killed in 2017 due to distracted driving.  In 2015, there were 391,000 people who were injured due to distracted driving.  Although these numbers seem high, it is reported that there are approximately 481,000 drivers who use their phones while driving daily.  It is, therefore, unsurprising that so many people are injured due to distracted driving.

Using a cell phone isn’t the only kind of distracted driving, however.  Eating, styling your hair, or even listening to music can take your eyes off the road and may cause a car accident.  If your loved one was killed by a distracted driver, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the distracted driver on the deceased’s behalf.

Read More: Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Attorneys

3. Exposure to Hazardous Conditions or Substances on the Job

Families of workers who have died as a result of exposure to hazardous conditions or substances on the job may be entitled to compensation through the employer’s insurance coverage.  If, for example, a worker died as a result of occupational asbestos exposure, his or her family members may bring a lawsuit for wrongful death.  Employers are, at the end of the day, responsible for the safety of their employees.

4. Criminal Activity or Behavior

There are various circumstances that may warrant filing a wrongful death claim if your loved one’s death resulted from criminal activity.  For example, if someone was attempting to rob or mug your loved one and ended up killing them in the process, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

5. A Supervised Activity Resulting in Death

If your loved one died due to the negligence of an individual who was responsible for supervising them during a certain activity, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim.  These supervised activities may include riding on a ride at an amusement park or water park.

If your loved one died and you believe you may have a wrongful death claim, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney today to discuss your case and any potential compensation you may be entitled to.


Loss of Income or Earning Capacity

If the deceased was employed and providing their household with a certain income, their death would put an end to that income. If this is the case for you, you may be able to file a claim for that loss of income. This may include the income the deceased was expected to receive had the fatality been prevented.

Medical Expenses Before Death

If your loved one received medical treatment that resulted in their death, you may be able to file a claim to receive compensation for those medical expenses.  The medical expenses you may be able to collect only include the expenses from the treatment they received as a result of the injury or disease that led to their death, however.


The age of the deceased may affect how much compensation their family members can seek.  For example, if the deceased was retired before his or her death, the earning potential of that individual would be taken into account.  Although wrongful death claims are not solely based on financial earnings, the lack of future earning potential would be taken into account.

Read More: Child Wrongful Death Lawyers

Character and Condition

The decedent’s character and condition are also taken into account when determining the potential compensation a family member may seek.

Life Expectancy

The potential financial recovery a family member may seek from the wrongful death of a loved one is determined, in part, by the decedent’s life expectancy.  For instance, if the decedent is very young, it may be more difficult to speculate potential earning capacity when compared to a high-performing 18-year old high school student.

Health and Intelligence

The decedent’s health and overall intelligence may also be taken into account when determining the financial compensation a loved one may be entitled to in a wrongful death case.  If the decedent suffered from perpetually poor health, for example, a judge would take that into consideration when determining pecuniary loss.

Additional Circumstances, Both Financial and Physical

There are many other circumstances that may be taken into consideration when determining a wrongful death lawsuit. These additional circumstances may include:

  • Nurturing and companionship
  • The health and age of those seeking economic losses
  • The deceased’s pain and suffering
  • The survivor’s mental anguish


Our wrongful death attorneys may help you and your family through this difficult time. Our Zinda Law Group lawyers have helped many families seek the compensation they deserve due to the wrongful death of their loved ones.  We are here to help you better understand the legal process, explain when to file a wrongful death claim, discuss potential compensation, and advocate on your behalf.

If you have questions regarding a wrongful death lawsuit or want to begin the legal process, call the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Zinda Law Group as soon as possible.  Call (800) 863-5312 today to schedule your free consultation.  You don’t pay a thing unless we win your case.

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