If you lose a spouse, a parent or a child in tragic circumstances, you might not know how to move forward. You may feel in shock for months, especially if your loved one’s death if it was the result of someone else’s negligence. You may want to hold the distracted driver who killed your child in a crash accountable or the surgeon whose mistake led to your spouse’s death.
Proving wrongful death
With a wrongful death lawsuit, you can hold someone accountable for your loved one’s death. But for a wrongful death lawsuit to be successful, the lawsuit must prove these factors:
- Someone’s negligence caused your loved one’s death. You will need to show that your loved one didn’t cause their own death, but rather it was the result of the defendant’s reckless or negligent actions.
- The defendant breached a duty of care toward your loved one in their negligent actions. For example, California drivers are not supposed to have a cell phone in their hand while behind the wheel. Yet, a distracted driver was texting while driving and ended up causing a serious accident that killed your child. The driver breached their duty to follow California law and practice safe driving. Or a surgeon has a duty to provide their patients with quality care, but their mistake led to your spouse’s death. In your case, you have to show what the defendant’s duty to care was and how breaching that led to your loved one’s death.
- The defendant’s negligence did cause your loved one’s death. Your case will need to show how the defendant’s actions directly caused your love one’s death. For example, the surgeon’s mistake, not an underlying health condition, caused your spouse’s death.
- You and your family have suffered damages because of your loved one’s death. If you lost a child in a car accident, those damages can include the money you paid for your child’s funeral or burial. For a spouse you lost because of a surgeon’s mistake, those damages can include money to compensate for losing their income and losing their companionship and love.
Pursuing a wrongful death claim
If you are considering pursing a wrongful death lawsuit because of the loss of your loved one, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney best can prepare your wrongful death lawsuit to succeed and push for proper damages to compensate your family for your family member’s untimely death.
Having help will give you more support as you push to hold a negligent party accountable for your loved one’s death and aid your family in regaining its financial security too.