The elements of a successful wrongful death claim

by Paula A. Wyatt | June 23, 2017 | Blog, Wrongful Death | 0 comments

The elements of a successful wrongful death claim

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is one of the most difficult things that any family can go through. Not only does it bring significant emotional duress and mental suffering, it can also bring financial struggles for your family, both immediately after the accident and long into the future.

If you lost a loved one due to the actions of another person or party through negligence or reckless behavior, you have the right to seek compensation for your suffering and financial losses through a wrongful death claim. However, knowledge is power and you can benefit by understanding your legal options before moving forward with a civil claim.

Fighting for the compensation you deserve

The personal representative (executor) of the estate can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf the estate's beneficiaries. Any damages won through a civil claim may pass to individuals per the instructions included in the decedent's will. The foundation of a successful wrongful death action includes the following elements:

  • The death of a person
  • Proof that surviving family members are suffering financial harm due to their loss
  • Evidence that the death was the result of negligence or harmful actions
  • The designation of one individual as a representative of the estate 

While wrongful death claims could be the result of a motor vehicle accident, many other circumstances could merit this type of legal action. Examples include: 

  • Medical malpractice that resulted in the death of a patient
  • Occupational accident that resulted from hazards or harmful substances
  • Fatality that occurred during a supervised activity
  • Death due to criminal activity 

Not everyone grieving a loved one lost in an accident has grounds to file a wrongful death claim. However, it could be the means by which your family could recover some of the losses you have suffered, such as medical bills, loss of income, and emotional duress.

Your right to recovery 

Nothing can bring back your loved one after an accident. But it's important to protect your interests by taking prompt action. By reaching out to an experienced lawyer, you can better understand your rights. A case evaluation will determine if the elements of a strong claim are present, allowing you to move forward with the most appropriate course of action for your situation.


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