Filing a lawsuit or bringing a claim for money against the perpetrator won’t bring back my loved one. Why should I consider pursuing a wrongful death claim? What will it accomplish? I am not the kind of person who sues people.

You are right. The reality is that any legal process is limited as to what it can accomplish. The best remedy to the tragic death of a loved one would be to require defendant to pay for you to travel back in time before the tragedy occurred, and somehow prevent it from happening. Failing that, the next best remedy would be to require defendant to pay to have your loved one resurrected and returned to you.


Of course, we know these things are absurd, and the stuff of science fiction. The only power that the American System of Justice provides to the family of a wrongful death victim is the right to pursue money damages on behalf of the estate of the victim.


The best way, in my opinion, to think about a wrongful death claim is to try to think about it as bringing about some kind of positive result out of tragedy. For instance, if you do not need the money, perhaps you could use the proceeds from a wrongful death verdict or settlement to set up a scholarship fund or other charitable fund in memory of the deceased. In the case of the death of the child, perhaps child’s siblings would like to go to college, but you cannot afford it. The successful culmination of a wrongful death claim may very well provide the funds to enable those siblings to realize their dreams. And of course, whenever that sibling thinks about what they have accomplished in life, they will know and remember that even though their sibling died in a tragic way, that brother or sister left behind a gift for them. That gift was the creation of a legacy that enabled the family to not only overcome the tragic loss of a family member, but to succeed beyond their wildest dreams.