What Do Plaintiffs Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?
Once you have made the decision to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be prepared to prove that several key elements existed to reach a positive outcome. The following is an overview of those elements:
- Duty of care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. After a fatal car accident, for instance, the plaintiff must show the defendant was obliged to follow all the rules of the road and to exercise reasonable care while behind the wheel. In a construction accident case, a plaintiff might aim to prove a construction company had a duty of care to provide certain safety equipment and training to its workers.
- Breach of duty of care: The plaintiff must also prove the defendant breached the duty of care. In a car accident case, the plaintiff must demonstrate the applicable traffic laws the defendant did not obey. Examples could include running a red light, speeding, failure to yield while making a left turn or not yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
- Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach of the duty of care directly caused the accident and the subsequent wrongful death. It is not enough to show the defendant in a car accident was speeding — that speed must have been a clear contributor to the crash that caused the death of the victim.
Seeking compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit can be a challenging experience, especially when you’re already dealing with the pain and trauma of losing a loved one. To learn more about your legal options, speak with a skilled La Plata personal injury attorney at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.