When someone dies, one of the natural stages of the process of dealing with death is to look for someone to blame, even if that means blaming the person who died. In some cases this is just a normal reaction and doesn’t include any significant logical reasoning. In other cases, the death really is the fault of someone else, though it may not be malicious. In cases where there is an intent to kill, the charge is manslaughter or murder. The difference between those cases and wrongful death is the lack of intent.
A Company Causes a Death
When a company is to blame for a death due to negligence or doing something wrong, the only recourse available is a wrongful death charge. Since a company isn’t a person and can’t have motivation that leads to an intent to cause a death, murder isn’t an option as a criminal charge. For example, if a person dies because they ate something that had a bacteria in it from the factory, the company didn’t commit murder, but it did cause a death and can be pursued for wrongful death damages.
Accidents happen for all sorts of reasons, including not limited to weather, mechanical malfunctions, natural disasters, inclement driving conditions, and operator malfunctions. In some cases, wrongful death lawsuits are pursued in these situations, but sometimes they can also result in manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter charges, such as DUI manslaughter cases.
There are too many types of medical negligence to list which can cause wrongful death. From a pharmacist accidentally putting the wrong drugs in a prescription to a doctor failing to treat an existing symptom. Since there is no intent to kill, it isn’t murder, but the death could have been avoided or prevented.
It can be difficult to determine exactly what kind of lawsuit needs to be filed when there is a death. Those who are in pursuit of damages in relation to a potential wrongful death lawsuit would do well to contact Ashenden Law to learn more about their rights and options.