Wrongful Death Claims: Defining the Essential Elements to Present a Claim

The Elements Required to Seek Compensation

Wrongful death is a term used to describe the unexpected death of a person that was caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person or party. Commonly, immediate family members, loved ones, or other representative parties will attempt to seek restitution for the grievances sustained from the victim’s death. A wrongful death claim will seek to obtain compensation for any financial and/or emotional damages resulting from the death.

Those who are able to seek compensation usually include, but are not limited to the following:

Estate representative

The victim’s parents

The victim’s spouse

Children of the victim

According to the law, there are various elements that are required when a victim’s representative seeks to obtain compensation for the losses obtained in the aftermath of the victim’s death. These elements can vary by state, which ultimately makes it crucial to seek the legal advice and support of a qualified and licensed attorney. A qualified attorney should be able to tell if the following elements apply to a particular case.

  • The duty to demonstrate that negligence caused or lead to the victim’s death.
    • ○ The legal representative has a duty to demonstrate that the victim’s death was the direct result or was otherwise somehow caused by another’s careless act. The negligent act does not always have to be the complete reason why the victim perished.
  • A breach of duty existed which lead or caused the victim’s death.
    • ○ In order to have a success claim, the victim’s legal representative has to demonstrate that the responsible party had a duty or obligation to the victim. Common examples of this include:
      • 1. A driver who has a responsibility to drive safely.
      • 2. A medical practitioner who has a duty to reasonably care for a patient’s health.
  • Have the ability to demonstrate that the negligence party caused the victim’s death.
    • ○ The victim’s legal representative does not only have to demonstrate the liable party’s duty, he or she must also demonstrate that the victim’s death was a result of the negligence.
  • Have the ability to demonstrate that there were damages sustained resulting from the victim’s death.
    • ○ In order to be able to present a claim, there needs to be evidence that there are in fact damages to claim. The victim’s legal representative has to show proof that the victim accumulated the following:
      • 1. Medical expenses
      • 2. Funeral costs
      • 3. Burial costs
      • 4. A loss of income
    • ○ Further, the victim’s legal representative must also demonstrate that he or she personally suffered grievances due to the person’s death. The grievances sustained can be, but are not limited to the following:
      • 1. The loss of a potential inheritance
      • 2. The emotional distress
      • 3. The loss of potential earning
      • 4. The loss of care
      • 5. The victim’s pain and/or suffering

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In order to prove these elements in a court, the victim’s family member or legal representative must demonstrate strong and convincing evidence.

An experienced attorney will be able to help grieving family members recover their losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Our attorneys are highly qualified in the handling of wrongful death claims. We have assisted many victims’ family members to recover compensation for the grievances caused by the victims’ deaths.

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We specialize in wrongful death claims and have experience seeking compensation for clients who are managing the loss of life.

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