The Impact of Wrongful Death on Survivors and the Bereaved

The Impact of Wrongful Death on Survivors and the Bereaved

The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one is one of the most devastating experiences a person can go through. When that loss results from someone else’s negligence or intentional harm, known as wrongful death, it can compound the grief and pain of those left behind. Survivors often experience a range of emotions, including confusion, denial, anger, guilt, and sadness.

Confusion and Uncertainty

Survivors of wrongful death are typically family members, spouses, or other dependents who relied on the deceased for financial and emotional support. When someone dies suddenly, it can be difficult to process the reality of the situation, making it hard to understand what happened and why.

Denial and Shock

Denial is a common stage of grief. It is a defense mechanism to help cope with the shock and stress that come with an unexpected loss of a loved one. Denial can help survivors and the bereaved temporarily avoid intense emotions and protect their minds from being overwhelmed with grief all at once. It allows people to gradually come to terms with the loss. Wrongful death survivors frequently experience denial and shock and may circle back to them throughout the grieving process due to the traumatizing nature of the loss.  


Wrongful death survivors will likely feel intense anger toward the party responsible and have unanswered questions about the circumstances surrounding the loss. Losing a loved one due to someone else’s actions can feel incredibly unfair and unjust. Anger can be a way for people to channel their energy and focus on seeking justice for their loved ones and holding the responsible party accountable for their actions. 

Legal action can provide some sense of closure for survivors and the bereaved. It can also help them to obtain financial compensation for their losses, including medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost income. While this compensation cannot bring back a loved one, it can help to alleviate some of the financial stress that they may be experiencing.


It is common for wrongful death survivors and the bereaved to wonder if there was anything they could have done to prevent the death, leading to guilt. These emotions can be overwhelming and can make it challenging for them to function in their daily lives.


Of course, wrongful death survivors and the bereaved will struggle to cope with the overwhelming sadness of the loss of their loved one. Their plans and expectations for the future are disrupted, and they do not have the opportunity to say goodbye, or make final arrangements, which can lead to extreme sadness over what could have been. Even as time passes, memories of the loved one can trigger feelings of sadness and grief, as well as reminders of the death. 

Physical Symptoms 

Wrongful death survivors and the bereaved may also experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms are a natural response to grief but can also be exacerbated by the trauma of losing a loved one to wrongful death. In some cases, survivors and the bereaved may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health conditions.

If you have lost a loved one in a preventable accident, arrange a free consultation with a trusted Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer today who can help your family hold the at-fault party accountable. 

"When I felt all hope was lost, I contacted Graham Scofield to see if he could represent me. He immediately called me back and thoroughly reviewed with me the case. He was the most patient, kind, sympathetic and the upmost professional attorney throughout the entire process. He was also extremely knowledgeable about the law and was creative when the case worked through the twists and turns. He was also a heck of a fighter for me and got me more settlement than I was expecting. I only wish I called him sooner! Thank you so much Graham, you are an amazing lawyer!!"
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