Elements of A Valid Wrongful Death Claim

Nothing is more traumatic than a person getting killed due to the negligence of another person. It becomes even more painful if the individual who got killed is the bread winner of the family. While no amount of money can bring back the life of the dead person, the relatives of the deceased can still do something to make the defendant responsible for their negligent act by filing a wrongful death claim. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, filing a lawsuit is one way the relatives of the deceased cope with the loss of their loved ones.

However, before they can claim for damages, the plaintiff, with the help of their legal counsel, must prove that there was negligence on the part of the defendant. There are various elements that need to be proven in order for the defendant to be proven guilty so that the plaintiff can collect the damages and get the justice they long for:

  1. Duty of Care – The plaintiff must prove in court that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person. For example, in a car accident, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant could have simply obey traffic rules or practiced safe driving.
  2. Breach of Duty of Care – In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the duty of care they owed to the defendant. In the same scenario, the relatives of the deceased must prove that the defendant failed to follow traffic rules and that negligence caused the death of the deceased.
  3. Causation – Breaking the law will not suffice in a wrongful death claim. It needs to be proven that the action of the defendant directly led to the death. For example, if it was shown that the death was due to something else such as a mechanical failure, then there is no breach on the part of the defendant.
  4. Damages – Lastly, the plaintiff needs to prove that the death resulted to a wide range of damages such as hospitalization, loss of income and earnings, pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, and others.

The untimely death of a person is associated with pain and suffering and other factors. A wrongful death claim may not help bring back the life of the deceased but at least it can help the relatives cope up with the loss of their loved one.

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