How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
When someone loses their life as the result of another person’s reckless or negligent actions, surviving loved ones have the right to seek justice through a civil lawsuit. A wrongful death suit allows surviving spouses, children, or parents to pursue financial compensation for the economic and non-economic losses related to their loved one’s death.
Wrongful death lawyer Roger “Rocky” Walton has represented countless wrongful death victims in Arlington, TX, Fort Worth, TX, and surrounding areas. He understands how to prove a wrongful death lawsuit so that his clients can be awarded to the maximum extent of the law.
Understanding the Burden of Proof
A wrongful death case is filed in civil court, which means the burden of proof is not the same as it is for cases filed in criminal court. Whereas a criminal attorney needs to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof in a civil case is slightly lower. To prove wrongful death for his clients, Rocky Walton just needs to present enough evidence to demonstrate that his argument of guilt is more likely to be true than not.
The Four Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
For a defendant to be found guilty in a wrongful death case, there are four basic elements that need to be proven. The four elements of a wrongful death lawsuit are negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Rocky Walton collects and presents evidence in each of these areas to fight for a favorable outcome for his clients.
The first element of a wrongful death case is negligence. We must be able to prove that the death of the plaintiff’s family member was caused by the defendant’s careless, reckless, or negligent actions. Depending on the circumstances of the death, evidence used to demonstrate neglect may include police reports, witness testimony, accident recreation, photos from the accident scene, and more.
Breach of Duty
To prove breach of duty, Rocky Walton needs to show that the defendant had a duty, or responsibility, to the victim. Breach of duty is usually demonstrated by establishing the relationship between the defendant and the victim. For example, if the defendant was the victim’s medical provider, the duty is established by the patient/doctor relationship. If the death is the result of a work accident, the duty is established by the fact that employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe work environment.
Causation means that the plaintiff needs to be able to show that their loved one’s death was caused by the defendant’s actions. To prove the link between the defendant’s actions and the death of the plaintiff’s family member, we may rely on evidence from the scene of the accident or injury, as well as medical records.
The final aspect of a wrongful death suit is damages. In order for our client to collect financial damages, we need to be able to demonstrate the economic and non-economic losses they suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. Evidence of economic losses may include medical bills, funeral bills, past income records, and explanation of benefits. To prove non-economic losses, we must show how the plaintiff’s day-to-day life is impacted by their loved one’s death.
Take Action Today
If you have recently lost a loved one to another person’s reckless actions, wrongful death lawyer Roger “Rocky” Walton can help you prove your case so you get the compensation you deserve. To schedule a legal consultation, send our Arlington firm a message at your earliest convenience, or call (817) 429-4299.