Wrongful Death Defined
Basically, a wrongful death claim may also be described as a special kind of personal injury lawsuit that is only made when an individual loses his or her life because of another party’s negligence or intentional act.
When Does It Apply?
Wrongful death law may be applied only to those tort (personal injury) cases in which the wrong doer’s action (who may be referred to as tortfeasor) lead to the victim being killed. And as a direct result bought anguish to the surviving members of victim’s family.
Wrongful death law is different from the usual “personal injury or tort law” in the sense that the purpose of this law is the provision of a measure of solace to survivors, not the deceased victim (Since that is an impossibility) Wrongful death laws differ from country to country and even state to state with different time bars on the filing of such law suits.
Rectifying a Historical Injustice
Unlike other tort doctrines, wrongful death has never existed as a “common law.”
In fact the courts did not recognize these actions to be legal in themselves. However by the 20th century, lawmakers realized that the survivors also deserve some form of closure and compensation and as such defendants who have injured others to the extent that they caused death cannot escape the civil consequences of their actions simply because they had managed to kill their victims.
A tiger escaping from a private zoo may attack and eat a man, his family could bring a “wrongful death” law suit against the owner of the private zoo since he was negligent in taking better precautions for keeping his animal away from potential victims
A doctor due to negligence may end up killing rather than curing his patient.