Proving fault in a wrongful death case can be done in several ways, but several key elements must be present for the case to be successful. A wrongful death case is a legal claim that someone was killed due to another party’s negligence or misconduct. Wrongful death cases are filed on behalf of the deceased person’s family.
The purpose of these cases is to provide financial compensation for the loss and suffering caused by a loved one’s premature and wrongful death. A wrongful death suit can be brought against anyone whose negligence or intentional misconduct led to the death of another person. To win a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant is liable for the death of the deceased.
Find the Right Lawyer
Wrongful death cases are complex and require the expertise of a lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases. You should look for a lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases in the past and who you feel comfortable working with.
You should also make sure you hire a local attorney as they will be familiar with the laws in your state. On the other hand, if the case will be tried in Philadelphia, for instance, even if you live elsewhere and have a trusted lawyer back in your hometown, you should consider your options in the city where the death occurred. Hiring a wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia in this case will give you the best chance of success as they will be familiar with the local court system and judges. And if you are not able to meet with a lawyer in person, many law firms offer free consultations via phone or video chat.
Proving Negligence or Intent to Harm
To prove wrongful death, you must first prove that the defendant was negligent or intentionally harmed the deceased. This can be done in many ways, but typically requires evidence that the defendant did not act as a reasonable person would have under the same circumstances. For example, if the defendant was driving recklessly and caused a car accident that resulted in the death of another person, this would be considered negligence. If the defendant intended to harm the deceased, such as in a murder case, this would also be considered grounds for a wrongful death suit.
Have a Clear Understanding of the Damages
To recover damages in a wrongful death case, you must prove that the death of your loved one resulted in some type of financial loss. This could include funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and medical bills. You will also need to prove that you have suffered emotional distress as a result of the death. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. Your lawyer will help you determine what damages you are eligible to recover.
File a Claim Within the Statute of Limitations
Every state has a statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. This is a set time limit that you have to file a lawsuit after the death of your loved one. If you miss the deadline, you will likely lose your chance to get any compensation. There are several reasons why it’s essential to file a claim within the statute of limitation. First, evidence can disappear over time and memories can fade. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you may not be able to find the evidence you need to prove your case. Additionally, witnesses may no longer be available to testify if you wait too long. Finally, the defendant may argue that you waited too long to file your lawsuit and that the case is now stale.
Collect and Preserve Evidence
It is important to begin collecting evidence as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. This includes any photos or videos of the incident, medical records, police reports, and eyewitness accounts. You should also keep a record of any expenses you have incurred as a result of the death, such as funeral costs and lost wages. If you are not sure where to start and what evidence to collect, your lawyer will be able to help. It is also important to keep all of this evidence in a safe place where it will not be lost or damaged.
Be Prepared for a Long Legal Process
Wrongful death cases can often take years to resolve. The legal process can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s important to be patient and understand that it may take some time to get a resolution. Additionally, you should be prepared for the possibility that the case may not go to trial and may instead be settled out of court. If this happens, it is important to have realistic expectations and to trust your lawyer’s judgment.
No one ever expects to lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. If you, unfortunately, find yourself in this predicament, it’s important to know that you have options and there is help available. By following these tips, you can give yourself the best chance at success in a wrongful death case.