Wrongful death claims cover all sorts of fatal accidents, such as
car accidents and medical malpractice. Wrongful death claims can also be filed over
product liability issues for defective products or medical devices that
cause or contribute to the death of a person.
People, companies, and governmental agencies can all be found at fault
for a wrongful death if their actions or internal practices are deemed
negligent or intentionally reckless. Wrongful death claims can be filed
by a family member or representative of the deceased. Claimants can be
immediate family members, life partners, financial dependents, or putative spouses.
Because family members will often argue about who should be the one to
file a lawsuit, it is important to note that courts will usually allow
just one wrongful death claim to be filed on behalf of the deceased party.
If two claims are filed, courts will usually consolidate the claims into
a single lawsuit.
If you plan to file a
wrongful death claim, you will need to prove the following elements to receive compensation
for the death of your loved one.
Proof of Negligence
When you file your wrongful death claim, you will need to prove the death
of your loved one was caused because of the reckless, careless, or negligent
actions of the person or entity you are suing. If the defendant failed
to use reasonable care in the circumstances that caused your loved ones
death, you can argue that they have acted negligently and contributed
to the death in question. This will require you to establish a direct
link between the defending party’s negligence and your loved one's death.
Proof of Breach of Duty
A wrongful death case requires you to prove that the defendant owed a duty
or legal obligation to your loved one. Proving a breach of duty occurred
requires you to establish the nature of the duty in question and how it
was breached through the defendant’s negligent actions.
Proof of Damages
To have a claim for damages, the death of your loved one must have resulted
in quantifiable damages like: hospitalization, medical expenses, funeral
and burial costs, loss of income, loss of protection, and pain and suffering.
Each of these elements have to be present in order for your wrongful death
claim to be successful. If you think you have grounds for a wrongful death
lawsuit, you should immediately consult with an experienced attorney.
Contact our Austin team of wrongful death attorneys
to get started on your free consultation today.