When someone causes the death of another, a criminal charge is filed on them called the wrongful death suit. Criminal charges are harsh. The wrongdoer is punished with fines and/or imprisonment. But the problem is the family of the victim gets nothing financially. Their finances in fact get drained in pursuing the case. A criminal case does not pay for the damages done to the family of the deceased. The victim’s family has to file a separate civil suit to receive damages.
Plaintiff is the person who brings the wrongful death claim while the defendant is the one who gets accused of causing the wrongful death. Usually the plaintiff is a close family member filing the lawsuit on behalf of all the heirs of the deceased. In case a deceased person has left a will, then the plaintiff is required to be the executor of their estate i.e. personal representative.
If the wrongful death case filer wants to win the case then they should simply prove that the defendant was in a position where they should have acted in a responsible manner to the deceased but did not. For example, a doctor owes a duty of care to their patient by prescribing the right medication but they failed to do so. A case can be filed on them. Or if a driver who owes duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians on the road by driving safely and following the rules of the road but fails to do so, then a breach of duty of care has been violated.
The misdiagnosis by the doctor or the non alertness of the driver has to be established before the court of law. The plaintiff needs to prove that the breach of duty happened causing the death of the deceased. These become the main element in wrongful death cases.