No one wakes up in the morning expecting to be involved in an accident before the day is out. Unfortunately, due to the negligence of others, many people are incorrect in this assumption. Around 40,000 people are killed every year in car accidents alone, and when combined with other unintentional accidental deaths, over 120,000 people die yearly.
When another person’s negligence causes this type of accident, it’s possible for the victim’s family members to bring forth a wrongful death case; but it’s essential that they understand what is necessary to win.
What must be Proven
Just about any type of civil case can be difficult, but there are a variety of things that must be proven in a wrongful death suit for a victim’s family to be successful. The surviving family must show, for instance, that the other party’s actions were at least in part the cause of the victim’s death; it must be shown that the defendant’s negligent actions led to the tragedy.
In addition, it must be proven that the victim’s death had a negative effect on surviving family members, and fortunately, this isn’t usually a difficult burden to prove. Lastly, it must be shown that the victim’s death resulted in financial damages. Since a funeral will be necessary and the victim will no longer be able to earn wages for the family, this is also often not a difficult burden to prove. Retaining an experienced wrongful death attorney, like Williams Law Association, P.A., is essential when legally filing such a claim.
Winning the Case
Winning a wrongful death suit is contingent on the victim’s family’s ability to prove the aforementioned factors. Luckily, the burden of proof in this type of case is only a preponderance of evidence. This means that if the jury believes that it’s more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence led to the victim’s death, the burden of proof has been met.
The best way to understand this complex proceeding is to hear an example. A person who dies after a car accident caused by another driver’s failure to stop at a traffic light, for instance, will have died due to the other driver’s negligence. The running of the traffic light was a negligent action, and sadly, it directly led to the victim’s death. The victim may have been a source of income for the family, so these damages can easily be recovered. It’s important to note, however, that damages related to mental anguish and lost companionship can also sometimes be recovered.
Ensuring Maximum Compensation
Knowing the aforementioned elements of a wrongful death suit can go a long way, but for a claimant to receive maximum compensation, they should focus on a few specific things. It’s first important to get all police and medical records related to the incident. This will show the driver’s negligence and the fact that the injuries sustained due to that negligence were a direct cause of the victim’s death.
The best way for a person to help ensure maximum compensation, however, is to hire an attorney. These legal professionals are adept at gathering the appropriate evidence necessary to fully meet the burden of proof in wrongful death suits. In addition, it’s likely that a lawyer can help secure a fair settlement without having to go through the hardship of a trial. This is because insurance companies are far more likely to offer a fair settlement if they know they’re up against a trained legal mind.
There’s not a thing in this world that can take the place of a lost loved one, and this heartbreaking reality is often made even more disheartening when survivors realize that they lost their loved one due to another person’s negligence. Family members who are in this situation, can search Williams Law Association, P.A. online, to find out what steps to take next and how to file a claim.