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Wrongful death claims can be brought in court if a person dies because of an occurrence where a second party can be held liable. According to "common law", that is, the law brought to the United States by people from England, any claim of wrongdoing in a death could not be used in court, as it was thought that the claim "died" with the deceased. The US changed that aspect of common law, and now in all 50 states there are statutes allowing family members to sue a second party for causing a wrongful death.