What Are the Elements of a Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If your loved one was fatally injured in a truck or motorcycle accident, the aftermath has likely been devastating. You may be facing medical bills from their emergency care as well as funeral costs. If your loved one was a family provider, the financial impact of their loss can be even more significant. A personal injury attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of your loved one in order to be compensated for these many expenses. However, certain elements must be proven for your lawsuit to be successful.

The Death Occurred Due to Negligence

The most important thing that your wrongful death lawyer will have to prove is that your loved one would be alive if it weren't for the liable party's negligence. In the case of a car or truck accident, this means that the driver must have been breaking a traffic law or otherwise acting recklessly when they caused the accident. Unfortunately, the other driver simply making a mistake does not provide grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit even if the accident they caused was fatal.

Some examples of negligence leading up to a car accident include speeding, making an illegal turn, or driving while distracted by a phone. If your lawyer can prove that your loved one would still be alive if the liable driver had obeyed the law, then you stand a chance of winning compensation.

The Liable Party Breached Their Duty of Care

Another crucial element of a wrongful death lawsuit is that the liable party must have had a duty of care to the victim and breached that duty. In cases of fatal car accidents, this duty is easily proven because every driver who gets behind the wheel is automatically assumed to have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and help keep others on the road safe. Even if your loved one was a pedestrian rather than a driver on the road, your lawyer should be able to prove that the liable driver was irresponsible and breached their duty of care.

You Suffered Damages Due to the Loss

It's important that you present evidence of quantifiable damages in your wrongful death lawsuit. One way to do this is by including medical bills, funeral costs, lost income, and other unexpected expenses to prove that you have suffered serious financial loss due to the death. Your lawyer can also help you calculate an amount for less tangible damages such as loss of companionship and reduced quality of life. If you can prove that these losses are directly caused by the liable party's negligence that resulted in the death of your loved one, it's likely that you'll be able to win your case and receive compensation.

Talk to a wrongful death lawyer for more information.