wrongful-death action - Legal Definition
A lawsuit brought alleging damages from a wrongful act, default, or negligent behavior that resulted in the aforementioned’s demise. Such action may be brought by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate, as well as his or her surviving family, claiming deprivation of economic benefit that would have been had in the way of income or services had the decedent survived. Wrongful-death laws are different from survival statutes, which provide for legal action to sue for mental anguish, medical expenses, pain and suffering, or lost wages springing from the act leading to the death. Both statutes, however, circumvent the common law rule that death extinguishes civil law suits. There is a wrongful death statute in every state in the United States.