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.