How To Prove Wrongful Death: A Brief Guide

Law Blog

A wrongful death claim hinges on the legal principle that family members can sue for the demise of their loved one. Such claims remain valid if the cause of death could have been prevented had the wrongful party been more mindful of the victim's welfare.

Find out more on how to prove the validity of your wrongful death claim in this guide.

Determine if You Qualify as a Claimant

Generally, the personal representative of the decedent's estate can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. Close relatives of the decedent, such as the spouses, children, parents, and siblings, can also claim wrongful death.

Once you've presented evidence of your relationship with the decedent, you need to show that you've suffered losses due to your loved one's death. You can include loss of financial support and deprivation of your loved one's companionship.

Additionally, wrongful death compensation can consider the decedent's pain and suffering. Such losses include the decedent's medical and funeral costs.

Prove the Defendant Caused Your Loved One's Death

Your wrongful death claim is only valid if your loved one died because of the defendant's actions. You cannot sue if your loved one died from natural causes or their own actions. Additionally, your wrongful death claim will fail if your loved one died because of an injury they sustained prior to the defendant's involvement.

A wrongful death claim can be based on either wrongful intent or wrongful conduct. Wrongful intent focuses on the defendant's intentions. For instance, if the accused party injured your loved one with the intent to kill, then your wrongful death claim becomes valid.

Wrongful conduct, on the other hand, refers to a negligent act committed by the accused party. For example, you could claim compensation if the defendant recklessly drove his car and hit the decedent. Also, you could sue for wrongful conduct if the decedent died while waiting for medical treatment because the accused negligently failed to provide the care needed.

In both cases, your wrongful death lawyer has to provide evidence that the defendant's actions caused the death of your loved one.

The Decedent Would Have Sued for Personal Injuries

A wrongful death claim can hold in court if the decedent would have filed a personal injury lawsuit had they survived. This key element determines the success of your case throughout the litigation stages.

To validate your lawsuit, you need to prove that your loved one wasn't responsible for the wrongful action. Also, if there were any witnesses of the wrongful conduct, they can support your case.

If the decedent's conduct was partly responsible for the wrongful act, you could still file for compensation. However, your claim can only be valid if the accused bears more responsibility for the unfortunate outcome.

For more information, contact a wrongful death attorney near you.


31 January 2022