If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent act or deliberate misconduct, you have grounds to file a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. At one time, suing someone wasn’t possible. However, in the 19th century, due to the wrongful death and survivor statutes, that all changed.
By creating wrongful death and survivor statutes, legislatures made it possible for close family members and heirs to be compensated for the death of their loved one. The compensation may include funeral expenses, damage for lost financial support, the decedent’s suffering and pain prior to death and other damages that depend on the context of the case. However, a plaintiff (heir or heirs) must prove the defendant’s fault in the case.
To further your knowledge on this subject, we will examine the elements that must be proved in a wrongful death claim.
Firstly, it’s necessary to prove that the defendant must have owed the decedent a duty of due care. Due care is a duty to complete an action in favor of someone’s safety and security. For instance, let’s assume that the decedent was in a car accident. The plaintiff may argue that the defendant was negligent while driving and he/she owed a duty of care to drive the car as a reasonable person would. In this case, the judge, not the jury, will decide whether the defendant owed a duty of due care.
Breach of duty
If the judge decides and determines that a duty exists, the plaintiff must prove that the duty was breached by the defendant. For example, if a decedent was in a car accident, the plaintiff must present evidence that the defendant wasn’t paying attention while driving when he/she struck the decedent.
Proving causation can be very complex. It depends on many factors of the case that hold true. While trying to prove causation, the plaintiff must try to prove that the breach of duty caused the decedent’s death. Again, if it was a car accident, the plaintiff must prove that it was actually the defendant’s car that struck the decedent and not some other vehicle.
It is also very important to prove that the decedent suffered damages. If you’re dealing with a wrongful death case, then the damages will be presumed because the person had lost their life.
If you ever find yourself in a situation like this and are struggling with unforeseen costs from a wrongful death accident, feel free to contact Certified Legal Funding. While awaiting your wrongful death settlement, Certified Legal Funding can offer you with pre-settlement funding and help you stay financially secure.
Should you have any other questions, feel free to give us a call at 800-922-7439. We are here to help you!