Death of loved ones can be very painful. It will be very difficult practically to accept the fact that they are not with us anymore. One’s heart pain can be more if the death of the loved one was because of the action of someone else. In such situations, it is normal for him/her to get to court and demand the liability of the responsible party. However, it is necessary for him/her to know certain things while they go forward with the liability claim.
The law of California State allows the surviving family members of a dead person to claim for financial recovery for the wrongful death of their dear one. However, it is not that easy to pursue such a lawsuit in the court because there are certain essential elements in a wrongful death lawsuit. There are some very strict steps and procedures to be followed while filing a wrongful death lawsuit in a court.
For a successful lawsuit in a wrongful death case, it is necessary to prove that the death happened due to the negligence of the other party. There must also be enough proof to prove that it was a wrongful death that the victim suffered. This is known as the burden of proof. It can be said that you are required to prove beyond doubt that it was a wrongful death that the victim suffered.
You may not have a clear idea about all these legal formalities involved in the wrongful death lawsuit you are pursuing. In that case, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you in understanding all the essential elements involved in the lawsuit.
Here is a simple guide to the essential things you need to do if you are pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in the court.
You Need to Show Enough Proof of Negligence
Most of the wrongful deaths happen because of the negligence on part of a party. If your loved one has suffered death due to the negligent actions or behavior of a party, you should be able to prove this negligence of the defendant, very clearly. This includes proving the following things:
- The defendant was responsible to carry out a duty of care for the victim.
- The defendant failed in accomplishing his duty of care.
- This failure in executing the duty caused the tragedy, which led to the death of your loved one.
- The death of the victim caused a great loss to you.
The duty of care may differ according to the type of accident, which occurred. Here are some examples of common duties of care and their breaches that happen very often.
- A doctor or a medical professional has the responsibility to give reasonable care for his/her patients. The duty will be considered to be breached if he falls below the standard of the care required of them.
- A vehicle driver has to drive the vehicle carefully to ensure the protection of the passengers and other vehicles on the road. if he shows negligence in executing his duty purposefully, it will be considered as a breach in his duty of care. A driver might be negligent in several ways. This includes drunk driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, violation of traffic rules, jumping signals, or other similar acts of carelessness.
- A production company must ensure that they produce only safe products for the use of people. They are also responsible to warn the public of the risk involved in using some products. Any negligence in these things can be a case of a breach in their duty of care.
- The owner of a property has to ensure the care and safety of the people visiting his property. If he fails in this or in warning the visitor of possible danger, he can be proved negligent in his duty.
After you prove the negligence of the defendant party, you will have to prove that this breach in duty has caused the death of your loved one.
You Need to Prove Intentional Harm
Sometimes wrongful death may not be the result of the negligent action of the party. Rather the party might have done the killing intentionally. In such cases, you will have to prove that the person had the intention to kill the victim. Besides, it must be proved that the person had made non-consensual contact with the victim, which caused serious harm.
You Need to Prove Damages
Once you are done proving the negligence of the faulty party, you need to prove the damage you suffered because of the loss of your loved one. Under the law of California, it is not possible to recover emotional stress due to wrongful death.
The most common damages which are collected in a wrongful death case are the funeral expense of the deceased one, losses of future income, financial support, household services, love, protection, assistance, support, companionship, etc. You will need the help of an attorney to help you in proving the damages. It is better for you to contact a wrongful death attorney to know the possibility of winning your wrongful death lawsuit.