What is a "wrongful death"?

The death of a loved one can be an overwhelming event for the members of a family in Kentucky. While in some situations the relatives and friends of a dying individual may have time to say their goodbyes and make their peace with their loss, in other instances life may be stolen from otherwise healthy individuals because of accidents and intentionally harmful conduct. "Wrongful deaths" are losses that stem from incidents that fall into the latter category.

Wrongful deaths result from acts of negligence, recklessness and criminal behavior. When a person dies in a car accident, for example, that death may be considered wrongful if it is attributable to the conduct of another person or persons. Wrongful death actions may be based on these types of loss, and while they do not directly benefit the deceased individuals, they may compensate others who are affected by the victims' deaths.

The administrator or executor of a decedent's end of life estate may initiate a wrongful death claim. If that claim is successful, the damages collected from the litigation may be given to certain members of the decedent's immediate family. Any money that cannot be distributed to relatives may be added to the decedent's estate.

Wrongful deaths are tragedies and often can be avoided by reasonable action. Unfortunately, too many families in Kentucky are affected by wrongful deaths each year and are forced to learn more about their legal options. Getting more information about the potential legal options can help families who have lost a loved one to protect their potential rights to compensation.

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