4 Elements That Can Strengthen A Wrongful Death Claim

elements strengthen wrongful death claim

The death of a loved one is always difficult, but it can seem even more tragic when the negligence or misconduct of another party causes that death. And because of this unexpected loss, many family members are devastated by grief. 

While it may be emotionally challenging to consider filing a lawsuit against the liable party, families don't have to suffer financially or emotionally – they can take action through the courts and fight for compensation. But to successfully make your case, you must demonstrate how each element of a wrongful death lawsuit in Cleveland applies to your situation. Continue reading to learn more. 

Who Are Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Claim? 

Generally, the deceased person's surviving spouse can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In some states, children may be able to bring this action if their parent has died due to someone else's negligence or misconduct. 

If there are no surviving family members, the estate representative can claim on behalf of the decedent's heirs. Any potential claimants must receive advice from an experienced attorney before initiating a lawsuit so they understand all their rights and responsibilities under state law. 

What Are The Key Elements Of A Wrongful Death Claim? 

A wrongful death claim is a legal action brought against someone whose negligent or intentional acts have resulted in the death of another person. To be successful, certain elements must be proven by the claimant. These 4 crucial case elements include: 

1. Duty Of Care 

Having established the key elements of a wrongful death claim, consider what can strengthen such a claim. It is necessary to hold someone liable for wrongful death and prove they had a duty of care towards the deceased. This means demonstrating that the defendant owed some legal responsibility to protect or prevent harm from coming to them. Such duties may arise from statutes, common law principles, contractual obligations, etc. 

It is also essential to show that this duty was breached in some way by either an act or omission on behalf of the defendant. It must be proven that the death would have been prevented or avoided entirely if the breach had not occurred. The plaintiff must demonstrate how the defendant's actions (or lack thereof) directly caused the death. 

2. Breach Of Duty 

In any wrongful death claim, proving that the defendant had a duty of care towards the deceased is important. The plaintiff must show that this duty was breached by proving negligence on behalf of the defendant. 

Neglect can include failing to maintain safe premises or using defective products. It also includes failing to provide adequate medical attention and warning signs for potential dangers. 

The burden of proof lies with the plaintiff in demonstrating a breach of duty. This requires evidence showing how exactly the defendant failed to meet their obligations, such as not maintaining safety standards or ignoring warnings from authorities regarding unsafe conditions. Furthermore, they need to demonstrate the harm of these failures. 

Ultimately, successful claims hinge upon convincing a court or jury that the defendant's negligence caused an individual's death. 

wrongful death case

3. Causation 

When strengthening a wrongful death claim, causation is a crucial element. This requires the plaintiff to establish that their loved one's death was caused directly by another person or entity's negligence or misconduct. 

A successful case outcome will depend on sufficient evidence showing this relationship between the other party and the victim's death. 

Evidence for establishing causation can include medical records, expert testimony, eyewitness accounts, accident reports, photographs and videos of the incident, and more. It is also possible that a defendant may admit they were responsible during pre-trial negotiations, such as mediation or arbitration. 

Strong evidence proving causation can ultimately lead to a successful resolution at trial or out-of-court settlement. 

4. Damages 

Damages constitute a significant element of any wrongful death claim. These damages include the lost wages, benefits, and future earnings their employer would have paid the deceased had they survived. 

Damages also include medical bills incurred while treating or diagnosing the underlying condition leading to death and burial and funeral expenses. Pain and suffering caused during the person's illness are also sometimes compensated. 

The family can seek punitive damages if it is found that the responsible party acted with reckless disregard for human life or was grossly negligent in causing their loved one's death. Such damages are meant to punish those who have behaved negligently rather than compensate those affected by their actions. 

Ultimately, these elements all provide opportunities for families to receive fair compensation for their loss and hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. 

Claims Conclusion 

Filing a wrongful death claim can be a complicated process. Therefore, it is important to understand the elements that must be present for it to succeed. A duty of care owed by the person responsible for the death, breach of this duty, causation, and damages associated with the loss are all key elements that need to exist before you can file. 

It is also essential for those considering such an action to research their case thoroughly and speak with legal professionals who specialize in this field. They will help you establish whether or not your case has sufficient evidence to support it. With their expertise and guidance, they can assist in understanding what is required to strengthen your claim and ensure justice is served on behalf of your loved one. 

It may be true that no amount of money will ever replace your loved one. However, a successful, wrongful death claim may provide some form of closure and financial remuneration, making life easier during this period of mourning and grief.

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