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Understanding What Constitutes a Wrongful Death and Negligence

Last updated 7 years ago

“Wrongful death” and “negligence” are terms that we’ve heard millions of times on various Law & Order spin-offs, but few of us actually know what they really mean.  To begin with, neither is a criminal offense—they are purely matters for civil court.  In order to understand what constitutes a wrongful death or negligence, let’s take a closer look at both terms:



In order to prove wrongful death, you must first prove that a person (or an entity, such as a corporation) was negligent, and that this led to the demise of your loved one.  At the end of the day, negligence rests on two things:

  • The person you’re suing for wrongful death either:
    1. Failed to live up to his end of the social contract.
    2. Failed to live up to the standards set by her profession.
  • That failure caused the death of your loved one.


Proving negligence is all about asking, “Would a reasonable person, in this situation, have done what this person did?”  If the answer is no, then you likely have a case of negligence.  Answering that question isn’t always a straightforward endeavor—legal experts are well-versed in determining and proving negligence.


Wrongful Death

As we’ve said, in order to accuse a person or a financial entity of wrongful death, you have to be able to prove that there was negligence.  Assuming that you can meet that burden of proof, then, here are some of the other things you need to know about wrongful death:

  • Generally speaking, a wrongful death suit is about seeking financial relief.  In addition to dealing with the pain and suffering caused by someone’s death, the bereaved also have to face the fact that a hospital won’t waive the bill just because the patient has died.
  • Often, you can be awarded the deceased’s projected income in order to maintain your lifestyle.
  • In some cases, you can also demand punitive damages.  These damages are deliberately designed to penalize the other party in the lawsuit.


The thing about wrongful death, however, is that the statute of limitations and the people who are allowed to sue for damages vary widely from state to state.  If you don’t know your state’s law, then you run of risk of being given the run-around.  That’s why it’s so important to hire a good law firm.


If you’re in Texas, then that means hiring the Carlson Law Firm.  At Carlson, we deal with all kinds of wrongful death suits, including motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents, and drunk driving accidents, as well as other forms of personal injury.  For more information, visit our website or call (888) 335-7492 today.


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