The Basics of a Wrongful Death Claim

Life is incredibly precious which is why having your loved ones healthy and around you results into a feeling of pure bliss. However, death is inevitable, and at some point, we all lose our loved ones to natural causes. Nevertheless, it is sad to know that some people lose their loved ones not to natural causes but as a result of someone else’s recklessness. Fortunately, if you or a close friend loses someone due to another person’s recklessness, the law makes it possible for them to seek justice by filing a wrongful death claim.

What Is Wrongful Death? 

Simply put, wrongful death is a legal term which refers to the death of an individual which is as a result of another person’s or an organization’s negligence. In other words, when a person loses their life in a situation that could have been prevented if someone else was careful, then this is a wrongful death. In such a case, the survivors, or the family members of the deceased have the right to sue the negligent party and seek compensation for the emotional and financial damages that they incur.

For instance, if your loved one dies in a drunk driving car accident, then you have the right to sue the driver as the loss of life could have been prevented if the drunk driver had hired a cab or had waited until they regained soberness. However, wrongful death claims fall under civil lawsuits and as such for you to gain compensation or even have a valid wrongful death claim, you need first to prove certain elements.

Note that, proving all the elements below calls for strong and convincing evidence. Wrongful death lawsuits are quite complex and handling them on your own can prove to be not only hectic, but you may also end up not getting proper compensation. To ease the burden and make the process more smooth sailing it is wise to hire a skilled wrongful death attorney Las Vegas Nv to help you with the claim.

Negligence 

As the surviving family member, you need to prove that the death of your loved one was partly or wholly caused by the carelessness or deliberate actions of the defendant. Besides negligence, you also need to prove that the defending party owed a commitment to your loved one which they breached. For instance, in the earlier mentioned example, the drunk driver had the duty to maintain the safety of other road users by driving safely and following traffic laws which prohibit drunk driving. By driving drunk, he/she violated traffic laws and breached his duty of ensuring that other road users are safe.

Causation 

Proving negligence and a breach of duty is enough to build a case; however, you also need to establish the causation. The drunk driver might have been negligent by driving under the influence but did their action result in the death of your loved one? To have a valid claim you need to provide the link between the defendant’s negligence and the death of your loved one.

Damages 

Once you successfully prove all the three elements above you also need to demonstrate how the loss of your loved one resulted in quantifiable damages on your part. For instance did you lose potential income? Was the deceased the sole provider of your family? Did the incident result in financial costs through medical bills and funeral costs?