- December 7, 2021
- Attorney David Mann
- Wrongful Death
A wrongful death as the result of an accident or someone’s recklessness or intentional behavior is an incredibly tragic event. So, how do you prove wrongful death? Loved ones who are left grief stricken deserve justice following a wrongful death. Proving that a wrongful death occurred often involves opening up a wrongful death case.
A successful wrongful death case must demonstrate that a responsible party acted negligently or intentionally, resulting in a loved one’s death. Proving negligence can be complicated, however, and defendants and their attorneys often look for ways to deflect blame.
At the Mann Law Firm, our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys know what’s required to win a successful wrongful death case. While nothing can undo the tragedy of a loved one’s wrongful death, seeking compensation and justice is both fair and right, and our attorneys can help.
Learn What You Need to Prove Wrongful Death
The Parts of a Wrongful Death Claim
Proving a wrongful death claim will require strong and convincing evidence. In many cases, expert witnesses will be needed in order to support your statements. In order to build and relay a successful case, a wrongful death lawyer’s help will be essential. If you learn what you need to prove wrongful death as you’re considering filing a case, you will be more prepared for the case process.
A wrongful death claim must demonstrate certain specific traits in order to be valid. Not every death resulting from an accident is seen as wrongful, in legal terms.
A legitimate wrongful death claim must demonstrate the following elements:
A wrongful death lawyer must demonstrate that recklessness or carelessness caused the accident that resulted in someone’s death. The negligent party’s actions—or inactions—often determine what qualifies as wrongful death.
In some cases, negligence is quite easy to prove. If a wrongful death case involved someone committing a reckless or intentional act, negligence is implied. For example, a murder victim dies as a result of someone’s intentional criminal action. As another example, an intoxicated driver who travels at double the speed limit commits a blatantly reckless action if he ends up in a fatal accident with another driver.
For many types of accident cases, however, proving negligence is more complicated. A defendant may try to demonstrate that the deceased was himself negligent, resulting in his death. Therefore, a skilled wrongful death attorney must gather evidence and effectively demonstrate a defendant’s negligence.
Breach of Duty of Care
A successful wrongful death claim must also show that a defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent and that this duty was breached. Duty of care implies that a person or entity has an expectation to act with watchfulness, attention, and prudence when involved with others and members of the public.
A construction company, for example, owes a duty of care to its employees, including ensuring a safe environment for construction work and processes to prevent construction worker injuries. A driver, to use another example, owes a duty of care to other drivers and to pedestrians to drive safely, remain alert, and not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In order to prove a successful wrongful death claim, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care toward the decedent and that the defendant’s negligent or intentional actions breached this duty of care. Proving negligence and a breached duty of care often comes down to showing that:
- A person or entity owed a duty of care.
- The person failed to meet that duty of care.
- The person’s failure to meet this duty caused an accident.
- The accident caused the decedent’s death or caused injuries that led to death.
A wrongful death is always a tragic event. Losing a loved one unexpectedly, especially as a result of someone’s negligence or intent, causes tremendous sorrow for surviving friends and family. But to demonstrate a wrongful death case, there must be quantifiable damages as a result of the death. This means that the decedent’s death must have caused or resulted in financial losses or added expense. As examples, wrongful death damages often include:
- Lost income
- A decedent’s pain and suffering experienced before death
- Medical and hospital bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost potential future wages and earnings.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
Wrongful Death and Intent
The term “wrongful death” may seemingly imply that a malicious and intentional act caused the decedent’s death. In some wrongful death cases, this is true. However, wrongful death is often not so apparent and does not involve anyone’s bad intention or ill will. Rather, a person or entity’s negligence and failure to use necessary caution is often what qualifies a death as a wrongful death case.
Wrongful Death, Personal Injury, and Negligence
In many ways, a wrongful death case is similar to a personal injury case, which also necessitates demonstration of negligence and breached duty of care leading to an injury. In wrongful death cases, the chief difference is that the injured person actually died. While this difference is severe in terms of impact, tragedy, and remorse, the process of proving and revealing negligence is similar in both wrongful death and personal injury cases. When asking, how do you prove wrongful death? The answer often comes down to proving negligence.
Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Here to Serve You
If a loved one of yours died as a result of wrongful death, an experienced Macon, GA, attorney from the Mann Law Firm wants to speak with you. First and foremost, our attorneys understand that your situation is not easy and that grief and healing take time. Beyond being left grief stricken, you should also receive the compensation that you’re owed and get help holding the people responsible for your loved one’s death accountable.
Our Macon, Georgia, wrongful death attorney can help you to learn what you need to prove wrongful death and to construct the best case possible for securing a wrongful death settlement.
Contact the Mann Law Firm at (478) 742-3381 to find out more about our firm and how we can serve you.