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A Lawyer Can Help You With Your Wrongful Death Case

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

The following is a guest post from our friends at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. – A wrongful death claim is legal action taken against a defendant who caused someone’s death either through negligence or intentional harm. It is different from a murder case in that it is not settled in criminal court, but civil court. A wrongful death suit allows the estate of the decedent to file a lawsuit against the person or entity that is legally responsible for the death.

If your loved one recently died because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct, a wrongful death lawyer could be of assistance. An experienced lawyer would help relieve some of the stress and burden of a wrongful death suit. The death of a family member is traumatic in its own right, so having a lawyer on your side could make things easier on you and your family. Call a law firm to speak with a wrongful death lawyer about your case.

What Must a Plaintiff Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Once the plaintiff, who is usually a close family member of the decedent or representative of the deceased’s estate, files the lawsuit with help of a wrongful death lawyer, they must prove the elements of a wrongful death claim before damages can be awarded.

Here are the common elements of a wrongful death suit that the plaintiff and their lawyer must prove:

Duty of Care

The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed what is called a duty of care to the decedent. Duty of care is proved by comparing the actions of the defendant to what the average person in the same position would do. For example, if the wrongful death was caused by a car accident, the defendant had the duty to drive according to traffic laws and exercise car while operating their vehicle.

Breach of that Duty of Care

It is not enough to just prove that there was a duty of care. The plaintiff must prove that the duty of care was breached by the defendant. For example, in the case of a car accident, the plaintiff and their team must show that the defendant was breaking a traffic law or drove recklessly to cause the accident.

Causation

Then, the plaintiff must prove that the breach of the duty of care is directly responsible for the wrongful death. It must be proven that the accident was caused by the driver of the other vehicle and not by the deceased’s vehicle or actions. This can be done with witness testimony, police reports and other evidence that a wrongful death attorney would gather.

Damages

Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the wrongful death had a direction correlation with their emotional and financial suffering. They will lay out the cost of medical bills, lost income, lost inheritance, pain and suffering and any other damages that have resulted from the wrongful death.

It is never easy losing a loved one, especially when you lost them unexpectedly and because of someone else’s negligence. Lawyers understand that this is a particularly difficult event for a family to handle, and they are here to help. Contact a wrongful death lawyer Washington, D.C., residents recommend to get help today.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., for their insight into wrongful death lawsuits.