Losing a loved one is never easy, but the burden you feel can be increased when your loved one's death comes as a result of the negligent actions of another. Many people seek legal retribution through the filing of a wrongful death suit when they lose a loved one unexpectedly. If you are thinking of filing a wrongful death suit, it's important that you understand the burden of proof that must be met in order to access financial compensation for the death of your loved one.
Here are three key elements associated with proving fault in a wrongful death case.
1. The party at fault must have had a duty to care for your loved one.
In order to be eligible for financial compensation, your loved one's death must have been the result of the negligent actions of another. In order for negligence to occur, a duty of care must be present. This means that you must be able to prove the negligent individual had a reasonable expectation to provide a level of care for your loved one, and that the individual failed to meet minimum expectations.
Individuals like doctors, employers, and others have a duty of care to those they deal with regularly, but a fellow shopper or passenger might not have the same legal duties. Be sure to talk to your lawyer to determine if a duty of care was present in the death of your loved one.
2. The duty to care for your loved one must have been breached.
Once you have established that a duty of care was present in the death of your loved one, you must be able to prove that this duty was breached in order to show negligence. Just because an individual passes away as a result of actions taken by another doesn't necessarily mean that the duty of care toward the deceased was breached.
Talk to your attorney to determine if the actions taken prior to the death of your loved one breached an established duty of care in order to decide if the negligence of another was to blame for your loved one's passing.
3. You must be able to prove that you have suffered as a result of the breach.
In order to receive financial compensation through a wrongful death suit, you must be able to prove to the court that the death of your loved one is directly responsible for the damages you are seeking. This can often be proven by showing that your loved one was helping to support you financially, and that the loss of that support has placed undue hardship on your shoulders.
A skilled attorney will be able to help you identify not only previous support that could contribute to damages in a wrongful death suit, but future support that would have been received and can be considered when calculating damages as well.
Understanding how the burden of proof works in a wrongful death suit will help you more adeptly navigate your own court case in the future. For more information on the legal services that a lawyer can provide, contact a law firm such as McFarland & Masters LLC.Share
17 November 2016
When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.