If a loved one has died in an accident caused by the negligence of another person or party, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages from the at-fault party.
To be successful in your claim, you must demonstrate to the court that the defendant was negligent, and that this negligence directly caused your loved one’s death. You must prove the following elements in your case:
- Duty of care: The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the deceased. This is an overarching standard of safety often applied to accident cases. For example, drivers on the road always have an obligation to obey the rules of the road and safely operate their vehicles. This is a simple standard to demonstrate to the court.
- Breach of duty: This is the stage at which it starts to become more challenging to prove liability. You must be able to show the court the defendant violated his or her duty of care to your loved one. Using the example of a car accident once again, a person who runs a red light or drives at excessive speeds would be guilty of a breach of the duty of care owed to other drivers or pedestrians on the road.
- Causation: Finally, you must be able to prove that breach of duty of care directly caused the accident and your loved one’s death. It is not enough to show that the defendant ran a red light, unless you are also able to prove that by running that red light, the defendant caused an accident that resulted in the death of your loved one.
To learn more about the standards of proving liability in a wrongful death claim, meet with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.