In the Case of Wrongful Death, A Wrongful Death Lawyer Will Work to Establish Proof
A loved one’s death is always devastating and tragic. The circumstances surrounding their death, however, often causes grave emotional suffering for the family and, in some cases, trauma.
In the case of wrongful death, the victim dies as a result of another person’s misconduct or negligence. Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that unintentional injuries rank as the fourth most common cause of the death in the US. Generally, wrongful deaths may be the result of a motor vehicle accident, a manufacturing defect, or property neglect. Depending on the circumstances, the victim’s wrongful death may warrant a criminal prosecution. A wrongful death lawsuit, however, remains a civil action that continues to be separate from any possible criminal charges.
In the event that the family of the victim decides to make a legal case for wrongful death, the burden of proof now falls on them and their wrongful death lawyer. It is a process where in the legal representative must establish several proofs in order to win the case or secure a settlement. Here is a brief overview of how it works:
Proof 1: Duty or Breach of Duty
In order to be able to prove negligence on the part of the defendant, the defendant must have owed the victim a certain duty of “due care” The exact definition of this depends on the circumstances that led to the alleged wrongful death. For instance, in a case of a wrongful death due to a motor vehicle accident, the defendant had a duty to keep the other person safe by operating the vehicle as safely as possible so as not to cause harm to the victim.
On the other hand, a breach of duty may also be established in this setting. In this case, the defendant may have failed to pay attention to the road, resulting in the accident involving the victim.
Proof 2: Causation
Once the duty or breach of duty on the part of the defendant has been established, the plaintiff’s side must now prove that these actions ended up causing the victim harm. In the case of a car accident, the plaintiff must be able to prove that it was the defendant’s car that ended up striking the victim, which caused fatal injuries.
Proof 3: Damages
After the breach of duty and causation have both been established, it is time for the plaintiff to prove that the victim had suffered damages that the victim’s family is now trying their best to recover from. This can lead to a discussion of the plaintiff’s financial and emotional loss.
When these kinds of proof are secured, the plaintiff stands a better chance of winning case in trial or receiving a settlement from the plaintiff. Still, while the financial compensation may provide some relief to the family, it still does not do much to help them recover from their emotional suffering. Nonetheless, getting just compensation might offer some peace to the remaining family members, knowing that they’ve been able to get some justice for their loved one’s untimely demise.
Accidents or Unintentional Injuries, cdc.gov
Wrongful Death Overview, injury.findlaw.com
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?, accident-law.freeadvice.com