Losing a loved one is an emotionally traumatic and sorrowful experience. The death of a loved one may lead to litigation if a family learns that the fatality was caused by another person’s or group of people’s negligence. Such claims enable families to seek justice on behalf of a decedent.
When a person files a wrongful death claim in a civil court, he or she becomes the plaintiff. This person is then tasked with providing evidence to convince the judge or jury that the defendant named in the claim acted with negligence, and that the negligence was responsible for the death of the plaintiff’s loved one. The following list includes numerous types of situations that often lead to wrongful death litigation:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Nursing home fatalities
- Medical events
- Product liability issues
While these are not the only issues or situations that may prompt a wrongful death claim, each of these topics is among those most often cited during this type of litigation.
The Key Elements of Each Wrongful Death Claim Are the Same
When a person meets with a wrongful death lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a claim, the attorney in question can explain key elements that must be present in order to proceed. These elements are negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In a motor vehicle collision, for instance, a motorist is obligated to adhere to traffic laws. A person whose blood alcohol content level is at or above the legal limit may be deemed responsible if he or she causes a collision that results in a fatality.
Similarly, if a care provider in a nursing home or medical environment is negligent in his or her duties, and a patient suffers fatal injuries because of it, a wrongful death claim may be filed. This is also true for product defects that cause death under normal usage. There is no replacement for the loss of human life; however, an immediate family member may file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for damages that may then be used to help cover funeral expenses or other financial burdens associated with the incident that resulted in a loved one’s death.
If a loved one or family member has died in a situation you think can be covered by a wrongful death claim, speak with a lawyer near you.