When contemplating whether or not to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is only natural to want to assess the likelihood of winning. Experiencing the death of a loved one is difficult enough before considering the added stressors involved with proving your case. Understanding the proof required for a successful wrongful death suit will help you better assess your chances of winning a wrongful death suit.
Wrongful Death Overview
When a death occurs as a direct result of the action or inaction of another person, close relatives of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In wrongful death lawsuits, the plaintiff holds the burden of proving that the defendant’s actions resulted in the death. Settlements from these lawsuits can ease the financial burden of costly expenses including funeral costs and pain and suffering. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed due to a number of reasons, including car or motorcycle accidents and slips, trips, and falls.
Information Needed For A Successful Suit
Evaluating the circumstances of your case in regard to the following items will help you better understand your odds of achieving a successful lawsuit.
Duty of Care
It is important that you are able to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. “Duty of care” is a term referencing the legal responsibility an entity has to act in a way that prevents harm to another individual.
Common examples of relationships in which an entity has a duty of care to protect another include:
- doctors with patients,
- parents/guardians with their child;
- motorists with other motorists; and
- business owners with customers.
Breach of Duty Resulting in Death
After establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, you must prove that the defendant also breached that duty in a manner that contributed to or caused the death. This may mean that the defendant completed a specific action that caused death, or it could mean that the defendant refrained from taking a specific action that could have prevented a death.
For example, drivers of automobiles have a duty of care to obey traffic laws and drive carefully. If a driver makes a mistake that causes an accident and harms another person, that driver has breached his or her duty of care. Evidence such as photographs, videos, witness testimonies, and medical records can be used to support a claim that a defendant’s action resulted in death.
In order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be successful, one must also prove that the death caused financial loss for your family. This proof includes medical expenses or funeral expenses. Additionally, this includes financial support. If you relied on your deceased loved one for financial support, and no longer receive this report due to the death, this can be taken into account.
Increase Your Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Suit With JP Law
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your wrongful death case, consider consulting with an expert. Loved ones of victims who have passed away due to someone else’s wrongful actions deserve compensation, and an experienced personal injury attorney will help increase your odds. Contact us for a free consultation.