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Understanding Wrongful Death: 4 Elements Needed in a Lawsuit

A wrongful death suit can truly be one of the most stressful and difficult situations of your life. Whether the fatality occurred in the workplace, within the medical community, or out on the roadways, losing someone due to the negligence of someone else is heartbreaking. Fatal workplace injuries have actually been on the rise as well, increasing 7% from 2015 to 2016.

Just like personal injury lawyers can help you deal with an on-the-job injury, and car accident lawyers can get you the automotive restitution you deserve, wrongful death lawyers are extremely helpful throughout this difficult process.

In the United States, wrongful death is a type of claim that can be brought when one entity or person wrongfully causes an individual’s death. A lawsuit can be filed even though the victim is no longer alive and cannot bring the case forward. Keep in mind, however, that every state has its own statutes when it comes to wrongful death. Your best bet to fully understand your state’s legalities is to consult with a trusted and qualified wrongful death lawyer.

When it comes to standard of proof for wrongful death in the U.S., it is typically preponderance of the evidence, as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt or clear and convincing.

Here is some additional information about the four key elements of wrongful death:

  1. Negligence — The family members of the deceased (or legal representatives) must prove that the death was caused by negligent actions of the defending party.
  2. Breach of Duty — It must also be proved that the defendant owed a duty to the deceased member. It’s up to the plaintiff to establish how the duty existed and whether or not that duty was breached through negligence.
  3. Causation — The lawsuit plaintiff must also prove how the negligence directly caused the fatality.
  4. Damages — Lastly, the plaintiff must generate quantifiable damages like medical expenses, hospitalization, funeral costs, lost wages and more.

If you want to get in contact with a compassionate and experienced wrongful death lawyer, contact Hayhurst Law right away.