Every death is, technically, a wrongful death. You feel wronged and cheated about the time you could have had with someone you loved. There is not much that removes that pain, except time. However, there are certain wrongful deaths that fall under the legal definition of wrongful death. Trying to sort out whether or not your loved one fits into a legal definition of wrongful death is very difficult. However, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if your loved one's situation fits the legal definition of wrongful death and not your personal, emotional definition of wrongful death.
Was the Deceased Killed in a Car Accident, or Did They Die as a Result of a Car Accident?
Not all car accidents kill people right away. Some people survive the accidents, but do not survive the ride to the hospital or don't survive surgeries needed to continue living. If your loved one died in a car accident prior to being seen by EMTs, that is wrongful death because the other driver in the accident killed your family member with his/her vehicle. If your family member passed away en route to the hospital, or at any point at the hospital, it still counts against the other driver. The only exception is when your family member makes it all the way to the recovery room and something hospital staff did or did not do results in your family member's death (which is also wrongful death, as you will see).
Was the Deceased Being Treated for an Illness or Injury and Treatment Was Mishandled?
Car accidents and disease are almost always mixed into wrongful death cases. Where medical treatment for either of these situations is concerned, the doctors and nurses are obligated to do their best to treat illness and injury, prevent infection, and provide high-quality comfort and care. When one or more of those factors is not provided and a patient dies as the result of negligence or willful mishandling of care, that falls under the canopy of wrongful death.
Was the Deceased Perfectly Healthy and then Suddenly Not Alive Because of Something Someone Else Did Wrong?
You have to understand that the legal definition of wrongful death addresses everything from car accidents to murder. Wrongful death indicates that the perpetrator or person responsible for your loved one's death did something really wrong, and what that person did really wrong resulted in someone else's death. You have to closely examine how your loved one died and whether or not someone is to blame. If you are not sure, talk to a wrongful death accident lawyer.