As a point of entry, a knowledge of what the subject denotes is important. Any form of negligence or misconduct by an individual that leads to the death of another is termed wrongful death. This means that any form of tragedy that could have been averted but due to the negligence of another lead to a death. Any intent to cause harm by the defendant may be met with both criminal and civil proceedings. While civil suits are meant to charge for damages and monetary loss that may have been suffered by the plaintiff, the criminal suit takes a different route.
When an individual dies, there’s a family left behind to grieving over lost dreams. A wrongful death can be the loss of a spouse, son, sibling, parent, and other loved ones. As an individual who lost a loved one to wrongful death, you are permitted to make a claim. However, wrongful death is guided by prerequisites that border on timing, evidence, and qualifications of the plaintiffs. Before you sue for wrongful death, ensure you provide answers to the following questions;
- Who Are You to The Deceased?
The statutes guiding wrongful death claim clearly specify who can be the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit. Only close family members can file a wrongful death claim, family members such as the spouse, children, parent and will executor. The aim of a wrongful death suit is the compensation of those who suffer a loss, which are the loved ones. In a case where the deceased have a will in place, the law court will appoint an executor who will file the claim. For example, if an unborn child is lost due to the negligence of the medical personnel, the parent of such unborn fetus are the plaintiff.
- What Is the Evidence?
A solid prove must be available to back the claim of the plaintiff in the case of wrongful death. The element of negligence and the pain in every form that the death has caused must be clearly established by the wrongful death lawyer. A breach of duty or trust be clearly proven by the plaintiff representatives.
- Was There Any Breach of The Duty of Care?
Under normal circumstances, an individual must ensure that their actions and inaction does not cause injury to another. If it can be proven that such are was not taken, then the plaintiff can file for wrongful death. For example, if a medical personnel does not administer treatment on a patient as when due, and this leads to the death of the patient, there will be a case of breach of duty. So also, any form of intentional action by an individual will also be proven with intent to cause harm.
- What Caused the Death?
There will be a need to prove that the breach of care by the defendant was the direct cause of death. The cause of the death is one of the important questions that must be proven by the plaintiffs. For example, if a drunk driver hit a student suffering from Asthma, and in the cause died from the complications of Asthma, then the driver is not the direct causal factor of the death. There must be a link between the breach of care and cause of death.
- What Is the Burden of Proof Available?
Providing the evidence to prove the case of negligence and cause of death solely lies in the hands of the plaintiff. With the abundance of proof available, then the juries will have to weigh the argument of the plaintiff against that of the defendants. In a civil case, the burden of proof is not needed as much as it is needed in a criminal case.
More importantly, hiring an experienced wrongful death legal team will assist in tendering your case beyond reasonable doubt.