Published on July 27, 2023

The Emotional Toll of Wrongful Death

by Psych Times Staff

Losing a loved one isn’t easy, especially when someone else’s negligence causes their death. The emotions following a wrongful death are often overwhelming. Acknowledging all the emotions that come with grief is the first step in healing. Although there isn’t a perfect way of handling grief, there are coping strategies that can help one navigate this journey.  

Understanding Wrongful Death

Wrongful is different than homicide. Wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligent actions. The defendant may not have intended to kill anyone, but if their actions contributed to someone’s death, they can be held liable.  There are various situations where it can occur. Some examples are car crashes, medical malpractice, or workplace accidents. The suddenness and unexpected nature of wrongful death intensify the emotional toll it takes on the survivors.

The Emotional Impact of Wrongful Death

Coping with Shock and Denial

One of the initial reactions to wrongful death is shock and denial. The suddenness of the loss often makes it challenging to grasp the reality of the situation. Coping with shock involves allowing oneself to process the information gradually. It’s essential to have a support system during this time, providing comfort and understanding.

Dealing with Anger and Guilt

As reality sinks in, feelings of anger and guilt may arise. Survivors may feel anger towards the responsible party for their negligence or actions that led to the loss. Simultaneously, they might experience guilt for not being able to prevent the tragedy. It is crucial to acknowledge and express these emotions constructively.

Managing Depression and Sadness

Grief is accompanied by deep sadness and depression. During this phase, it is essential to allow oneself to mourn and seek comfort from others. Engaging in activities that bring solace and maintaining routines can help cope with these overwhelming emotions.

Acceptance and Moving Forward

Acceptance doesn’t mean forgetting the loved one; instead, it involves acknowledging the reality of their absence. This phase of grief helps individuals begin to rebuild their lives while cherishing the memories of the deceased.

Legal Considerations and Support for Wrongful Death Cases

Understanding Legal Rights

Only certain individuals with a certain relationship to the deceased can file a claim. According to the wrongful death lawyers at Rodriguez & Associates, ” in California, the deceased individual’s spouse, domestic partner, or children can file.” Other states have different laws regarding who is entitled to file a wrongful death suit. Depending on the case, wrongful death claims can result in a sizable settlement for the plaintiffs. Seeking guidance from an experienced wrongful death attorney can help families pursue their cases effectively.

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