What Evidence do You Need When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
February 9, 2023
Nobody wants to think about someone passing away as a result of someone else’s carelessness. Sadly, wrongful death cases occur more frequently than we may imagine.
Knowing what proof you’ll need before filing is crucial if you’re thinking about making a wrongful death claim. You don’t want your case to be dismissed in court due to insufficient proof.
This article will discuss the types of evidence required for a successful wrongful death claim.
Elements Involved in Proving Wrongful Death
The plaintiffs in a wrongful death case must satisfy the same burdens of proof that would be necessary for the victim to be found guilty if the victim had survived. Each of these aspects will need to be proven if you are bringing a claim or launching a wrongful death lawsuit.
You need to be able to demonstrate these four factors in order to prove wrongful death:
To win a wrongful death case, we need to show that the defendant’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence directly led to the demise of the plaintiff’s loved one.
The plaintiffs must be able to demonstrate that the defendant owes the victim a duty of care. For instance, a company is responsible for providing a safe environment for employees and customers. A driver owes a duty of care to other motorists to adhere to traffic laws and drive safely.
The plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and that this duty was broken as a result of their careless behavior.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit will also need to demonstrate how the defendant’s negligence led to the loss of their loved one in order to establish how the defendant breached their obligation to the victim.
The victim’s death must also result in quantifiable damages to establish a wrongful death case.
Examples of economic damages might be:
- Medical costs
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of income
A wrongful death case in court will need to present solid and convincing evidence to support these claims. Expert witness testimony may be necessary for some of the evidence. Your case will be constructed around the facts and evidence presented by a wrongful death attorney.
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Evidence Needed to Support Wrongful Death Claim
Attorneys may need a variety of evidence to support wrongful death claims, including:
Medical Records of the Deceased
The most important evidence to have in the event of a wrongful death lawsuit is the deceased’s medical records. Hospitalizations and medical costs are also included and can be used as proof of damages in your claim.
Lawyers can also use this evidence to support the claim that the deceased person’s injuries were caused directly by the negligent party by carefully reviewing the medical records.
In order to assess the specifics of these documents and identify essential facts that can support the claim, a proper medical record analysis is crucial.
This category is broad enough to encompass a wide variety of different kinds of pieces of evidence. For instance, items of clothing stained with blood could demonstrate how and where on the body a victim was injured in an accident or a fall.
Or, if the deceased person was the victim of medical misconduct because a foreign item was left inside them after surgery, this is another key piece of physical evidence that could show a wrongful death case.
Video and Images
A picture is worth a thousand words in many cases. Images and videos are highly essential pieces of evidence that can demonstrate negligence or identify who is to blame.
Traffic cams, surveillance videos, and even cell phone videos from witnesses and observers can show the event from different angles and may tell the story.
Autopsy and Police Reports
If the police have examined the circumstances of a person’s death, a report would have been written in connection with the inquiry. The police report is invaluable if the cause of death was an automobile accident or a premises liability event such as a slip and fall.
If the cause of death was less obvious, an autopsy report can reveal whether or not a medical error was the cause of death. A toxicology report will offer solid proof of prescription mistakes.
It is important to have a comprehensive autopsy report as well as copies of any police reports that were generated in connection with the accident or investigation. These key pieces of evidence can support your claims in a wrongful death case.
Pay Stubs and Tax Returns
The value of a wrongful death claim can be determined with the use of pay stubs and tax returns. They are able to provide evidence of how much money the decedent made, and the amount of lost wages and income can be factored into the claim.
The details surrounding the victim’s death are crucial to the work of wrongful death attorneys. A certified copy of the official death certificate includes the exact day and time of death and makes a clear reference to the real cause of death.
This certificate, which the coroner has validated, is a crucial part of the evidence that must be presented in any wrongful death action.
Contact a Lawyer Today to Learn More About the Evidence Needed for Your Wrongful Death Case
Zanes Law’s attorneys recognize that losing a loved one may be an extremely difficult event for a family. We are committed to giving families the resources and assistance they require to obtain justice and closure following a tragedy of this magnitude.
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, please contact us immediately to schedule a free consultation. During our consultation, we will examine the incident’s specifics and provide sound legal counsel regarding your claim.
We are here to assist you through this challenging time. To begin, please contact us immediately. Our team is prepared to assist you in filing a claim for wrongful death so that you may seek justice for your loved one.