A wrongful death claim provides compensation to the victim’s surviving family members provided by the defendant. The payment can include damages for lost financial support, the pain, and suffering of the victim before death, and other expenses. A wrongful death case essentially allows the surviving family members of a loved one who died due to the carelessness or violence of another person to get justice. However, keep in mind that not all deaths, even accidental ones, can count as wrongful deaths.
Certain things need to be proven in order to get the proper compensation for a wrongful death claim. If you cannot verify your claim, you will not be applicable to get the surviving family compensation. The surviving family, termed plaintiffs in law terms, need to prove these 6 essential things in a wrongful death case.
A crucial step in proving a wrongful death claim is to prove the damages caused by the person’s negligence at fault. If you’re somehow unable to prove that the death of your loved one was caused as a direct result of the defendant’s recklessness, there’s a high chance you’ll lose your claim. To ensure you can make your claim stick, the experts at https://www.erlegal.com/practice-areas/wrongful-death/ suggest that you provide the details of each and every expense caused as a result of the decedent’s death. The decedent’s death will also probably generate a considerable expense that needs to be claimed from the wrongful death compensation. In addition to hospitalization and other medical costs, the defendant’s added cost of funeral expenses will also need to be compensated.
The main thing plaintiffs need to prove is the negligence of the defendant as a direct result of which the decedent’s death is caused. To prove negligence, the duty of the defendant towards the decedent’s safety should be highlighted. Although this duty varies from case to case, the essentials are the same. A level of ‘due care’ should be taken by every single individual to make sure their actions don’t cause harm to another person. For example, every driver’s duty of due care is owed to operate their vehicle responsibly to make sure their reckless driving doesn’t harm or injure pedestrians or even other drivers.
3. Breach Of Duty
After identifying the duty owed by the defendant to the decedent’s safety, the plaintiffs must prove the breach of that duty by the defendant. Sufficient evidence must be provided to prove the defendant’s fault in the death of the decedent. Considering the example from above, a breach of duty for a driver would be reckless driving or not following the proper driving rules due to which someone’s death is caused. Similarly, a medical practitioner has the duty to practice safe treatments, and this duty would be breached if they did anything against the general medical laws.
Next, the plaintiffs need to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty actually caused the death of their loved one. To prove this, post-mortem reports, eye-witnesses, police reports, and other relevant evidence can be used. Considering the same example as above, if the defendant’s reckless driving has caused the death of your loved one, you will need to prove how exactly the death was caused and why the defendant is to be blamed. This can be confirmed by several eye-witness statements or footage of a security camera that might have captured the incident.
5. Surviving Family Members
Although only immediate family members of the wrongfully deceased are eligible for wrongful death compensation in some states, the most common criteria allow any related members to claim compensation. Any member of the deceased’s family receiving direct financial support from the victim is also eligible for compensation. All you’d need to do is prove your relationship to the victim and file a claim.
6. Value Of Losses
To get the proper compensation, you, as the plaintiff of the deceased, need to provide and prove the value of the losses faced due to the decedent’s death. The proof of these losses can be provided by the victim’s medical bills, funeral billing expenses, employment records, tax statements, or any other financial statements.
Although a wrongful death lawsuit isn’t considered to be a criminal offense and has a lower burden of proof, you still need to provide sufficient information as proof to get your desired compensation. A loved one’s death can be a lot to take in, so to make sure you don’t have to deal with the additional stress of dealing with claims and lawsuits, you should learn about the process as much as you can.