How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
There is often nothing as traumatic as the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one, particularly when that death is due to the fault or negligence of someone else.
In the state of Texas, wrongful death is defined as a death due to the carelessness, unskillfulness, neglect, or negligence of another person or company. Some of the most common situations where we see wrongful death claims arise are due to auto accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, or defective products.
In these situations, the law allows certain family members to bring forth a wrongful death claim, however, the big question that many family members have when considering these claims is how you can prove it was a wrongful death. There are four key elements of a wrongful death claim, all of which must be proven for a case to receive financial compensation.
Negligence – The most essential element of a wrongful death claim is that the death was caused either in part or in whole by the negligence of the defending party.
Breach of Duty – It must be proved that the defendant in a case owed a duty to the deceased victim. For example, a motorist has a duty to drive safely, and to observe the rules and regulations of every traffic law. A doctor or nurse has the duty to maintain the patient’s health. The plaintiff must establish how the defendant’s duty existed and how it was breached by their negligent actions.
Causation – Beyond proving that a defendant breached their duty to the victim, it must also be proven that the defendant’s negligence directly contributed to the death of your loved one.
Damages – The death of the victim must have generated quantifiable monetary damages which could include hospitalization, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and potential earnings, loss of protection, guidance, and inheritance, as well as the pain and suffering of a victim prior to their passing.
While wrongful death lawsuits are a civil action and not a criminal case which means the burden of proof is set lower, one must still be able to prove the above four points in court during a wrongful death lawsuit. It will require strong convincing evidence as well as expert witness testimony, which is why it is important to work with an experienced attorney who is specialized in wrongful death cases.
Every wrongful death case is different, and the ensuing lawsuits are often complex matters. Having a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney on your side can make a tremendous difference as you attempt to put your life back together following the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. It is important to note that the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in the state of Texas is up to two years, so you should be sure to promptly speak with a wrongful death attorney like those at Fears Nachawati in order to ensure that justice is served.
You can schedule your free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your wrongful death lawsuit by calling (866) 705-7584, or by visiting the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.