The trauma and pain that come with losing a loved one due to another person’s negligence can change your life forever. While this is a confusing and challenging moment, you can file a claim to recover the damage incurred. However, it is imperative to understand the elements of wrongful death to help you make informed decisions when filing a wrongful death claim. Read on to learn about the wrongful death elements.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to loss of life caused by another person’s negligence, carelessness, wrongful acts, and failure to fulfill an obligation. The at-fault party can either be an individual or an organization.
It is worth noting that every state defines wrongful death law differently, and this is why you should check with your state laws or seek help from an experienced wrongful death lawyer such as Morris Bart to advise and guide you.
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The Four Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
The four elements of a wrongful death claim are as follows.
Duty of Care
Under the duty of care, the defendant should have prevented the accident by acting reasonably. For instance, if a doctor failed to take care of the patient as required, prescribing the wrong medication that led to the victim’s death, the doctor is liable for the death. Or maybe the victim slipped, fell on someone’s property, and sustained severe injuries that led to their death.
Proving duty of care can be challenging if you lack legal expertise. Working with an experienced lawyer such as Morris Bart would be ideal for helping you prove who is responsible for the death of your loved one.
Proving that someone breached the duty of care establishes that the accident happened due to another person’s recklessness, misconduct, carelessness, and default. In short, the defendant failed to act with reasonable care to protect the victim against the accident.
As the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that your damages are the result of the breach of duty. You will need to prove how negligence led to the death of your loved one. Whether it is a doctor’s malpractice or distracted driving of the defendant, you must prove that the death directly resulted from these actions.
After an accident, the victim’s family may spend money on medical treatment, funeral costs, and burial expenses. They may also experience pain and suffering, loss of potential earnings, and loss of protection. To recover the damage, you will need to provide concrete evidence for your claims. A wrongful death attorney can help you establish solid evidence that will make your case stronger.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death that You Can Include in a Claim
Wrongful deaths occur for several reasons. Knowing what caused the death of your loved one will help you determine whether to file a wrongful death claim and what processes you should take. Here are some of the common causes of wrongful death:
- Car accidents
- Birth injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Occupational hazards
- Premises accidents
- Animal bites
- Product defects
- Medical malpractice
There are many other causes of wrongful death. A wrongful death lawyer can help you define how wrongful deaths occur and what you should do if your loved one is involved in an accident that leads to their death.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a claim made on behalf of a deceased family member against someone who caused their loved one’s death. The defendant is liable for the damage and should compensate the beneficiaries of the deceased based on the damage incurred. However, it is worth noting that not every case qualifies for a wrongful death claim.
You must provide concrete evidence and meet specific criteria based on your state’s requirements.
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Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?
The person who files a wrongful death claim should be a close family member, however, each state handles the process a little differently. Generally, people who can file a claim include the deceased’s:
- Other blood relatives
If you do not understand the legal processes of filing a wrongful death claim, you should work with an experienced wrongful death attorney to guide and help you figure out whether you qualify to file the claim.
Damages You May Recover from a Wrongful Death Claim
If you have a valid claim with concrete evidence, you could recover damages, also known as legal compensation. You can hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer such as Morris Bart to collect concrete evidence against the defendant and handle the case on your behalf so that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How do You Know If You Have a Valid Wrongful Death Claim?
Since not all wrongful death claims are viable, it is best to seek legal help from a wrongful death lawyer to help you determine the validity of your claim. While this can be a difficult time for grieving, you should always speak to an attorney to advise you on filing a claim as soon as you lose a loved one. If you have a valid claim, a wrongful death lawyer will guide you regarding what to do from that point. At Morris Bart, our attorneys will do all it takes to help you recover what you deserve.
Speak to a Wrongful Death Attorney If You Recently Lost a Loved One
If you lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you should speak to a wrongful death attorney. The attorney will evaluate your claim and advise you on the next step. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you with your wrongful death case.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.