When a loved one dies as a result of an accident, surviving family members often find themselves dealing with grief and financial problems. It can be incredibly difficult to cope with the loss of a loved one, especially when the death could have been prevented. However, these families may be able to seek justice through a wrongful death action.These types of cases can be complex and difficult to prove without the right legal support and guidance. Here is the process of proving a wrongful death lawsuit explained by our Wyoming team of wrongful death attorneys.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death¹ is any death that occurs as the result of an accident caused by negligence or willful intent of another person. The easiest way to determine if wrongful death occurred is to ask yourself: If the person had lived through the event, could they have filed a personal injury claim? If the answer is yes, you most likely can consider it a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving families members to bring a legal claim for compensation after losing a loved one to wrongful death. It can provide financial compensation for the victim’s family while also holding the responsible party accountable for causing the death.
You’re not alone. Our wrongful death attorneys are ready to help you seek justice. Contact us today to learn more.
What Are Common Accidents That Lead to Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death can happen in any type of accident. However, some situations are more commonly associated with this type of loss. These events include:
- Birth injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Occupational injuries
- Exposure to chemicals
- Burns and fires
- Car accidents
- Dangerous medications or medical devices
- Premises liability injuries, including animal attacks
- Criminal events
What Are the Four Key Elements of a Wrongful Death Case?
Before the court will accept a legal claim, your attorney must show that the following four criteria have been met for this type of claim.
Your attorney must show that a negligent act occurred, leading to the death of your loved one. In many cases, an accident report helps to demonstrate that there was negligent behavior.
2. The Negligent Party Had a Duty of Care to the Deceased
Your wrongful death lawyer will have to show that there was a “duty of care” present in the event that led to the death of the loved one.
For example, if your loved one died in a car accident, your attorney would have to show that the other driver had a duty to obey traffic laws and operate their vehicle carefully on the road.
3. There Was a Breach in That Duty of Care
The next thing that your attorney must show is that the responsible party failed to act in a safe manner. They had a duty of care and failed in that duty.
For example, in a car accident, your attorney may explain that the driver of the vehicle was texting while driving. However, by texting while operating the vehicle, the driver breached the duty to obey traffic laws, and the accident was a direct result of that.
4. The Family Incurred Financial Losses as a Result of This Death
Damages can include many different losses. Some of these losses may be:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs if the death did not occur instantly
- Personal property losses such as a totaled vehicle
- Loss of future earnings and benefits
- Non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of services
Your wrongful death attorney will explain to you what damages apply to your claim based on the facts of your case and the applicable state laws.
Schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death attorney Wyoming team to see if you qualify to bring a legal claim.
What Must You Prove to Win Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When you seek compensation for wrongful death, it requires more than just an accident report and a death certificate. Your attorney will need to build a case just like they would for a personal injury claim. You must prove the four elements of a wrongful death case in order to get the compensation you deserve after a loved one’s death.
Interviewing witnesses, taking depositions, and presenting a strong case will help show that the actions of the negligent party were the direct cause of the death. Working with an experienced lawyer for wrongful death will significantly increase your chances of recovering fair compensation that represents all your losses.
Who Has the Burden of Proof in a Wrongful Death Case?
It is the responsibility of the Plaintiff, or the family members seeking compensation, to show that the other party is responsible for the death. This is why it is essential to contact an experienced lawyer to help you build your case.
Your attorney will have the resources to speak with experts, interview witnesses, and show that the negligent party must be held accountable for their actions.
What Do Wrongful Death Attorneys Do?
Families who have experienced the loss of a loved one may not know where to turn for help. Their whole world has changed in an instant, and they are facing many challenges. Knowing how and when to contact wrongful death lawyers can help you seek justice for your family member and get the financial help you need and deserve.
Working with an attorney can help eliminate some of the stress that your family is experiencing. An attorney can manage all of the legal issues surrounding the death, allowing you and your family the time you need to heal from this tragic loss.
How Do I Find a Wrongful Death Attorney Near Me?
The experienced Wyoming wrongful death lawyers at Robert P. Schuster, Attorneys at Law, are ready to help you seek justice for what happened. We offer our legal guidance, comprehensive representation, and around-the-clock support to ensure your claim is successful and you can start to rebuild your life.
To learn more about our legal services and how we can help, schedule a free consultation with our team today.
¹Cornell Law School. Wrongful death action. Retrieved 22 April 2022.