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The passing of a loved one can never come at a good time. However, if the death is unexpected, it can do even more damage. You will be emotionally unprepared, and you might be unprepared financially as well. Attorneys are sensitive to the needs of loved ones who wish to file wrongful death suits and have experience working with clients who choose to file wrongful death cases.
Determining Wrongful Death
Wrongful death was created so that the survivors of the deceased could file for compensation after a loved one has died. Close family members that might receive compensation are spouses, partners, and children. The damages received for the wrongful death will depend entirely on your specific case, but they can range anywhere from a loss of love to medical or funeral expenses incurred after the death.
How Can You Prove Negligence?
When proving that your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death, there are a few factors that must be proven when considering your claim:
- There was a duty
- There was a breach of duty
- There was causation
- There were damages
There Was a Duty. When proving that the defendant is liable for your loved one’s death, you must prove that the defendant owed the deceased some type of duty. Although this will vary from case to case, this duty is a duty of care that all people owe to keep one another safe. For example, the deceased was killed by the defendant because the defendant was driving while under the influence. In this case, the defendant owed the deceased (and everyone else on the road) the same reasonable care that others provide of not driving under the influence.
There Was a Breach Of Duty. The plaintiff will be required to show evidence that the duty of care was breached. As in the above example, if the defendant was driving drunk, they were not taking the same reasonable care that others pay on the road. Thus, the breach of duty existed.
There Was Causation. Even after determining that there was a breach of duty, the plaintiff will need to prove that this breach of duty directly caused harm or caused the death of the deceased. Thus, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was in fact in the driver’s seat, driving, under the influence, and that they ran into the deceased’s car, fatally injuring them. If the deceased already had fatal injuries before the defendant ran into them, this could be plausible cause to throw out the case.
There Were Damages. In addition to the above, the plaintiff must also show the damages caused. Some of these damages could be a loss of income from the deceased, a loss of guidance, or even a loss of love.
How Can an Attorney Help?
When navigating tricky legal claims, it is always beneficial to have a trusted wrongful death lawyer Rockville, MD offers on your side. Attorneys have helped many families with their wrongful death claims, and are here to help you with your unique case. Never hesitate to get the legal help you deserve during a family loss.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Cohen & Cohen, PC for their insight into wrongful death claims.