Defining Wrongful Death When All Death Is Wrong

All deaths seem wrong in one way or another. A mother dies in childbirth, leaving a child with no mother. A husband and wife are split by death, with one surviving without the other. Tragic and bizarre accidents kill dozens of people out of the blue, and kamikaze religious zealots bomb concerts killing children as well as adults. Could you honestly look at any of these deaths and say they are "right?" No, probably not, and that is why the law devised a way to define "wrongful death" a long time ago.

A Wrongful Death Is More Wrong

It is hard to imagine any death being more wrong than any other. However, this is the measuring stick by which courts define these types of deaths. To be "more wrong," a death must have been caused by someone else's recklessness, negligence or intentional harm. Ergo, the deaths are often accidental in nature, even if it can be proven that they were intentional on the part of the person charged with such a crime.

When A Wrongful Death Is Homicide

A wrongful death is no longer a wrongful death when it is a homicide. Even though a homicide is technically a wrongful death because it is a crime that results in someone's death, homicide is often a planned death connected to someone the victim (or victims) knows. You could still essentially sue the killer once he or she has been prosecuted as a killer, but given the fact that it would be impossible to seek recompense for your loss when the killer is already in jail, it would be futile.


When you seek out a lawyer for wrongful death cases, make sure your case is really a wrongful death. 

Wrongful death cases include:

  • Slip and fall cases that cause fatal head injuries
  • Doctors prescribing medications that should not be taken together, or over-prescribing pain medications
  • Doctors that make fatal mistakes during surgery
  • Car accidents
  • Car accidents as the result of a driver driving under the influence
  • Heavy objects falling from on high and that were not properly secured
  • Clear-cut cases of negligence (the employer knows the equipment is faulty and employees are untrained but assigns them to the faulty equipment anyway)

If you ever have any questions about whether or not you have a wrongful death case, you can always speak to a lawyer for free. There is no obligation to hire a lawyer when you just want an official legal opinion.