Losing a loved one is always devastating and never easy to move on from.
Whether you have just lost a parent, spouse, or child in an accident, you are forced to accept a new reality without warning.
When you lose a loved one due to another person’s actions, the loss is even harder to accept.
Nothing will ever bring your loved one back, but if you lost them due to someone’s negligence, you can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
How hard it is to prove wrongful death claims depends on the case.
Some wrongful death claims are clear-cut.
Other wrongful death suits require thorough investigation, statements from witnesses, evaluations by experts, and other types of supporting evidence.
In the article below, we will discuss how hard it may be to prove wrongful death.
Understand the Burden of Proof
The first part of proving a wrongful death action is understanding the burden of proof.
Prosecuting attorneys have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal cases.
On the other hand, in civil cases like a wrongful death lawsuit, the wrongful death attorney must prove that the issue being claimed is true.
The bar is lower and easier to achieve.
A wrongful death lawyer will thoroughly investigate all claims, meet with witnesses, identify experts, and develop a winning legal strategy.
Have Sufficient Proof of Negligence
Negligence is vital in any personal injury lawsuit, especially a wrongful death lawsuit.
If your loved one’s wrongful death was caused by negligence, you must satisfy all specific legal elements of negligence.
The elements of negligence are:
- The liable party had a particular duty of care
- The party breached that duty of care
- The breach led to the accident and injuries that caused the death
- The death resulted in losses to you
Duties of care vary depending on the type of accident the deceased person was involved in.
For example, a driver has a duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner.
Breaching this duty of care owed can include distracted driving, drunk driving, aggressive driving, violating traffic laws, or other negligent acts.
Companies also have a duty to sell safe products for their intended use.
They also need to warn consumers about any potential risks.
If a company produces or sells a defective or unreasonably dangerous product without proper warnings, this can constitute a breach of duty.
If that breach of their duty of care caused the death of your loved one, you might have a wrongful death case.
Medical professionals also have to provide the level of care that other similarly trained and reasonable professionals would provide in similar situations.
If their actions fall below that standard and a mistake is made, the duty of care is breached, and you may be owed financial compensation.
The final example we’ll talk about is a property owner’s duty to ensure their premises are free from dangerous conditions or hazards.
If an owner knew or should have known about a hazard and didn’t fix it or visitors weren’t warned, they have breached the duty of care.
Once you have established a breach of duty, you need evidence to prove that the breach of duty caused or contributed to your loved one’s injuries and eventual death.
Gathering Evidence to Prove Wrongful Acts
It is crucial to gather enough evidence to prove someone acted wrongfully and caused death, but it can be difficult.
The deceased person isn’t available to testify about what happened.
That means you have to rely on other types of direct and circumstantial evidence to prove the other party’s wrongful act, omission, or negligence.
Evidence included in a wrongful death lawsuit can include:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your loved one’s medical bills and records
- Medical expert’s testimony
- Accident pictures
- Video of the accident
Hiring a Lawyer To Prove Wrongful Death
Unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.
Many of these injuries are caused by traffic accidents, but fatal injuries may also be caused by construction accidents, premises liability incidents, and medical malpractice.
No matter what caused the death, it can be hard to prove a wrongful death case.
That’s why it’s important to seek the help of an experienced team of personal injury lawyers.
In the wake of losing a close loved one, handling a wrongful death case can be difficult and emotionally draining.
A wrongful death lawyer will make sure you can cover the medical expenses and burial costs as well as other damages that resulted from the death of your loved one.
If you’re ready to discuss your case with a team you can trust, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is here to help.
Schedule a free consultation to get started.