If someone has died due to the negligence of an individual or company, those left behind have rights to file a civil lawsuit that seeks damages from the individual or company that was responsible for that death. This lawsuit is called a wrongful death suit. Every state has their own specific rules that cover a wrongful death claim however, there are some general rules that you will find in almost every state on this type of claim. Thus, what needs to be established in order to prove a wrongful death case?
Once the suit has been filed, the plaintiff will need to provide proof of the many elements of the wrongful death claim before any compensation can be awarded to the plaintiff. They will need to provide proof to the court that the accident involving the deceased would not have occurred if it wasn’t for the individual, group, or company. The following element that must be proven includes:
Breach of Duty of Care: The plaintiff will need to provide proof that the defendant breached the Duty of Care. If the deceased died in a vehicle accident, for example, then the plaintiff would need to provide proof that the defendant was under obligation to obey the traffic laws just like everyone else was and if the defendant was driving their vehicle with care, the accident could have been avoided.
Duty of Care: You will need to provide enough evidence proving that the defendant owed the duty of care to the one that is now deceased. This means that if there was a vehicle accident the plaintiff will need to provide proof to the court that the defendant was obligated to follow all rules of driving on the road and driving safely, when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Causation: While you need to provide proof of the defendant breaking the law, you must also provide proof to the courts that the defendant also ran the red light that killed your loved on. But if ultimately the defendant running the red light wasn’t the cause of your loved ones death but was actually caused by some mechanical failure instead, then the court would have no other choice but to side with the defendant in the ruling.
Proof in a Wrongful Death Case
When you are trying to provide proof for everything listed above, it’s difficult to keep up with everything. The laws are different in almost every state so this “Burden of Proof” is going to have different requirements based on where you live. You ultimately need to provide proof of some type of neglect.In some states, jurors are instructed to decide whether or not the evidence is enough to weigh the option of maybe it happened and maybe it didn’t. When dealing with a civil case, the Burden of Proof is not as difficult to prove.
The Burden of Proof is not determined by the evidence the plaintiff has brought forward though. For instance, if the Plaintiff brings more witnesses to the trial than the defendant did, the plaintiff still can’t be sure that the Burden of Proof has been met. But the credibility of all the evidence put together is what is measured. If the plaintiff doesn’t meet this requirement, then the Burden of Proof will not be met and no compensation will be awarded.There are many different lawsuits that are normally resolved before the trial date while the rest cannot be agreed upon under no circumstances so then it is brought to the court to determine the verdict.