When a person passes away due to an accident, it is important that the cause is established. Often, law enforcement officials will investigate and establish whether suspicious circumstances were present. In some situations, murder or manslaughter charges may be filed.
When a person loses a loved one, they undoubtedly suffer greatly, especially when they know that the accident could have been prevented. When family members believe that another person’s actions led to the death of a loved one, they are able to sue for “wrongful death.” If they are successful, they can gain back damages both for the financial impact that the death had and the emotional impact that the loss has had.
While no amount of money can ever make up for the devastation of losing a loved one, gaining back damages can help you through this difficult time by providing some financial security. The following are the four key elements that need to be proven in a wrongful death case.
Breach of duty
Everyone has certain duties when they go about their lives. If you are a chef, you have the duty to provide customers with food that has been hygienically prepared and that is safe to eat. If you are a driver, you have a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws. The plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty toward the deceased person and that they breached that duty.
Negligence is any form of carelessness or recklessness. The plaintiff must show that the defendant acted negligently.
It should also be shown that this negligence and breach of duty actually caused the death of the deceased person. In other words, it should be shown that if the defendant had not acted in the way that they did, the person would not have died.
If the deceased person did not have family and no one suffered damages as a result of their death, a lawsuit cannot be brought about. Therefore, it should be shown that financial or emotional damages were caused by the death.
If you have lost a loved one due to a tragic accident, you should take the time to grieve before considering taking action to file a wrongful death lawsuit.