Any death of a loved one that you are not expecting can feel wrongful. However, the term wrongful death is actually a legal term. For the term wrongful death to legally apply to your loved one's specific situation, different legal criteria have to be meet.
It's About Negligence
The big thing that you have to understand when it comes to wrongful death is that it is about negligence. That means that someone else, in a particular situation, was intentionally or unintentionally negligent and acted in a way that differs from what a normal, responsible person would do in that situations. For a death to be negligence, the person who died has to have died through no fault of their own, but through the action or lack of action of someone else.
It's A Civil Matter
Wrongful death is a civil matter. It is an option that you can pursue in civil court. If the defendant is found guilty, in general, they are required to pay you compensation. They are not going to go to jail or face criminal consequences.
That is not to say that a criminal act did not occur. However, it is up to the district attorney where you live to determine if a criminal act did occur and to pursue criminal charges if necessary. Any criminal charges would be different than the civil wrongful death lawsuit that you can pursue.
It's On You to Prove Your Case
With a wrongful death lawsuit, it is on you to prove your case. You need to gather the evidence and your attorney needs to demonstrate that you have a case and that you deserve compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one. The case is really up to you and your attorney, so you need to hire an attorney that stands behind your case and is ready to prove that your case is valid within the court system.
It's A Time Sensitive Matter
Finally, understand that wrongful death is a time sensitive matter. You should contact a malpractice lawyer right away if you suspect your loved one's death is wrongful. From there, your attorney can gather evidence and determine if it makes sense to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit.
With a wrongful death lawsuit, the burden is on you to decide to contact an attorney and prove that the death was wrongful. If you feel that a loved one's death was wrongful, you need to take action in order to get legal results.