Negligence and Wrongful Death

January 4, 2012

When a wrongful death occurs, it is often due to negligence on one party's fault. But what exactly does negligence—or even wrongful death—mean?

And what, specifically, can it mean for you?

In a case of wrongful death do you need a wrongful death lawyer? Or perhaps only a personal injury attorney?

From a legal standpoint, negligence is some form of action or inaction by a person who fails to use reasonable care, typically resulting in harm caused to another person—though negligence can cause harm to property as well.

  • If a person does not act as an ordinary, reasonable person might, they can be negligent.
  • Whether or not a person has been negligent can be determined by whoever is trying the case, though there are some laws that directly define negligence, or negligence per se.
  • For instance, if someone violates a law and consequently causes direct harm—like ignoring a stop sign and hitting someone in the crosswalk—this is a case of negligence per se.

Wrongful death is often a consequence of negligence or careless action or inaction of another party.

  • In a wrongful death claim there is no malice or intention to kill, but a death has arisen from the actions of another party.
  • Some common wrongful death claims come from cases involving medical malpractice, defective products, dangerous property conditions, and motor vehicle accidents.
  • Wrongful death claims offer a way to redress damages and loss when an accident does occur.
  • Compensation is determined on a state-by-state basis.

Negligence does not always result in a wrongful death. Nor are wrongful deaths always caused by negligence. A number of factors come into play with either of these, so it is important to consult a personal injury lawyer or a wrongful death lawyer, in the case of either.

If you do need the assistance, consider finding the help you need at O'Mara and Padilla Attorneys at Law. Find us online or call 1-800-LAW-1199.

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