As a personal injury trial lawyer, I get asked a lot of interesting questions. Sometimes the question is more of a challenge to my beliefs versus a question to gain knowledge. Having firmly held beliefs and being proud of my profession, I welcome the challenge.
In wrongful death cases, the question is: What is the point in suing someone over the death of another? The money obtained will not bring the person back to life nor will it take away the pain of the loss. While it is true that wrongful death litigation does not bring the person back, it does create personal and societal benefits. As a society, we live by rules of conduct, often referred to as laws. When someone breaks a law and hurts another, the wrongdoer should be held accountable for the injuries and damages caused, including death. Basic principals of fairness demand compensating the injured for their loss.
For example, if a motorist is speeding down the interstate, he is violating the law by exceeding the posted speed limit. If he hits and injures another person, everyone agrees he should be held accountable for the injuries he caused. Does the fact that he killed someone versus injure them alleviate the person’s responsibility?
What good comes from wrongful death litigation? First, it makes the wrongdoer responsible for their actions. Second, it deters others from committing the same wrongful acts. Third, it provides a financial means for the loved ones to bury and honor the life lost, to seek counseling, or to create a memorial. Fourth, it can create societal changes to make conditions safer for others.
Recently, Trauma Lawyers brought three wrongful death lawsuits against a municipality where over 20 children and adults have died. As a result of these cases, public access to a dangerous and deadly dam was removed. The entire area became an exclusionary zone and not one more life has been lost. The personal and societal benefits of wrongful death litigation remain at the forefront of Trauma Lawyers’ corporate mission.
By: Katherine Cardenas