When the negligence or misconduct of another person, company or entity results in the death of a person, it is called wrongful death. In this case, the deceased relatives can file a lawsuit against those who are liable for death. It is governed by statute and was originally created to extend financial support to widows, orphans and dependents.

Apart from the lost wages, lost companionship and funeral expenses, the family members of the deceased can also sue for civil damages including pain, sorrow and mental suffering.