Important Psychological Aspects of Wrongful Death Cases

When people suffer serious loss, they exhibit symptoms resulting from numerous defensive mechanisms that they’ve developed throughout their lifetimes. The loss of a loved one strongly impacts the minds and development of immediate family members and close loved ones.

There are psychological aspects of grief following a death with someone who is close that are generally consistent. How people deal with the emotions and challenges of the death of a close relationship depends on many factors.

However, when a person close to you dies as a result of a death that could have been prevented, there are additional emotional strains that can negatively affect the psyche of children, spouses, family members and anyone else that developed a strong bond with the deceased.

Wrongful Death lawsuits and the psychological strains inherent

wrongful_deathA wrongful death lawsuit occurs when a person dies and their family members pursue financial compensation from the party responsible. These are commonly the result of car accidents causing the death of a person that is dependent upon the deceased for emotional and financial assistance.

Following a fatal motorcycle accident occurring in the late 90s, attorney Tim Ryan litigated a case in public court to obtain compensation for a family of individuals who lost their “bread winner” in a collision resulting from gross negligence.

The victim was struck by a vehicle owned and operated by a well-known soda company. The vehicle’s driver ran a red light and struck the victim on the left hand side of his motorcycle at an estimated 40mph. The victim was treated at the scene and airlifted to a local hospital, later succumbing to their injuries.

Attorney Tim Ryan argued that, for the victims’ family, knowing that their father/husband should be there breathing with them today, but that the SUV driver failed to pay attention directly resulting in their loved ones death, made the death particularly difficult to bear.

Few studies have been done to prove that these claims, but there is no doubt that victims who view their loved one’s death as a situation that could have easily been prevented internalize the loss a bit differently.

Death vs. wrongful death

Most experts agree that the death of a loved one results in multiple stages of grief. For those who have had loved ones die as a result of a preventable tragedy, these stages still exist, yet they are experienced differently.

These stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Following the loss of a loved one, most people feel some level of guilt as they try to process their loss and what their loss means for them.

Was the death my fault? Could I have done anything to prevent this? Did I do enough to let them know I loved them?

These are normal feelings that anyone might feel after losing their husband, child, or close friend. However, when the death is preventable, it can be much easier for those grieving to spiral into depression as they place an incredible amount of guilt upon their own shoulders.

Help for those recovering from a wrongful death

The grieving process will differ from person to person as well as the details surrounding the death, but general advice for those suffering from grief remains the same: open up to those around you, refrain from blaming oneself, and seek professional help if you feel your thoughts or feelings are overwhelming.

Those struggling to deal with their grief in a productive manner are encouraged to evaluate outside sources.