In order for an individual to be found guilty in a wrongful death case, the plaintiffs will need to provide the various burdens of proof of the victim if the victim is still alive. There are four factors that are involved in a case for wrongful death defined by law. The surviving family members who have filed a lawsuit will have to prove each of the four factors. You may also want to consider hiring a wrongful death attorney.
Factors to Prove
A wrongful death lawsuit allows family members of the deceased to seek justice on behalf of their loved one who passed away resulting from an act of violence or carelessness. Most times, a personal representative of the individual’s estate will be appointed during the lawsuit.
Keep in mind that not all deaths will qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit, even accidental ones. These cases must meet certain criteria in order to be considered wrongful death.
In all wrongful death cases, you must prove that the death of your loved one was caused by part or in whole recklessness, carelessness, or simply by negligent actions of another person.
Breach of Duty
If you want to have a successful wrongful death case, you will need to prove that the individual responsible, owed a duty to the victim. For instance, when you are driving a car, you have a responsibility to follow and obey all traffic laws safely. Doctors and other medical providers have a responsibility to maintain the health of their patients.
Family members must be able to prove how the duty of the individual responsible existed and that this duty has been breached due to their negligence.
Family members must also prove how the negligence of the individual responsible resulted in the death of their loved one. Family members have to prove how this duty has been breached, and it must be stated in the lawsuit.
Proving a wrongful death may not be so easy. You will also have to identify such damages including:
- The cost of the burial
- Medical costs
- Funeral costs
- Loss of income
- A loss of inheritance, guidance, and protection
- Pain and suffering from the victim prior to their death
These points all must be proved in a wrongful death lawsuit by showing strong evidence that shows the defendant is responsible. Some evidence may even require expert witness testimony. A wrongful death attorney can help put your case together surrounding the evidence and facts you provide.
Some Common Causes of Wrongful Death
There are a few different causes of wrongful death. Many of these causes will have to be presented with the factors listed above in order to prove a wrongful death took place. Several causes of wrongful death include:
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Commercial truck, auto, or motorcycle accidents
- Occupational exposure
- Occupational hazards
- Product defects
- Neglect and abuse at nursing homes and assisting living facilities
- Crimes such as shootings, stabbings, or other violence
- Supervised activities within daycare, field trips, and even adult care
Wrongful death cases need a lot of quality and credibility to prove it is valid. This is why it is often recommended that you hire legal representation. An attorney that specializes in wrongful deaths will help build a case surrounding the evidence you supply to show that there is a valid case. If the case cannot be proven, then no rewards will be given. This is why it is important that you make sure the evidence you have is solid and proves the cause of death was due to the negligence of another individual.