If you have a loved one who has passed away as a result of a deliberate or negligent action carried out by another individual, you may be entitled to compensation. To sue for wrongful death, you will need to prove that the death was caused by the defendant and was not simply a result of an accident.
If the Defendant Has Duty of Care
To demonstrate that the defendant was responsible for the negligence, you will first need to demonstrate that the defendant had a duty of care. This means that the defendant was responsible for the care of a patient, but failed to provide adequate care or protection. The defendant will then have had to breach the duty of care in a manner that caused the patient to pass away. Finally, there would have to be survivors who are entitled to compensation for the wrongful death.
When a Law Was Broken
Those who have a duty of care can include those who are put in charge of caring for a patient, those who are in charge of the safety of a building and those who are driving or operating dangerous machinery. The easiest way to prove duty of care is if there were specific rules that the defendant was mandated by law to follow. For example, if you sue for wrongful death for the death of a loved one who was speeding, a traffic violation, this act of speeding would be used as evidence of negligence and could be used as a reason to sue for wrongful death.
When No Law Was Broken
But even if the defendant did not break a law, the judge may find the defendant guilty of wrongful death if it is obvious that the actions of the defendant would lead to someone's death. Under these cases, the judge would determine if a reasonable individual would behave in a different manner to prevent the wrongful death. If so, the defendant would be found guilty.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Given the difficulty of proving some wrongful death cases, you will need to work closely with a wrongful death attorney. These professionals will need you to gather any evidence you can acquire regarding the wrongful death, such as photographs of the conditions of a building that contributed to the victim's death. The lawyer will also interview witnesses at the scene of the incident and interview forensic witnesses so that a case can be built supporting the assertion that the defendant caused the death.