Losing a loved one is tragic, especially if the death occurs under sudden and unexpected circumstances caused by another person. If you’ve recently lost a loved one under circumstances that could have been prevented by the actions of someone else, you may be able pursue a wrongful death claim. Read on to learn more about what qualifies as wrongful death.
Main Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
The following four elements must be in place to file a wrongful death claim:
- Duty of care. We all have a responsibility to act responsibly and prevent acting in a way that could injure others. For example, whenever a person gets behind the wheel of their car, they are expected to obey traffic laws and drive safely. Business owners must maintain their businesses in a way that prevents injury to employees, clients, and the general public. Medical personnel must adhere to the standard of care expected of a reasonable person in their position.
- Breach of duty. If a person disobeys traffic laws, gets behind the wheel while under the influence, or fails to adhere to an official standard of care, they are violating their duty of care. In essence, they have been negligent by failing to behave with the level of care expected of anyone in that situation.
- The negligence caused death. An attorney must demonstrate that the breach of duty or negligent action directly caused the death of your loved one.
- You suffered damages. Your attorney must demonstrate that you experienced damages as the result of your loved one’s death. Damages can include funeral expenses or medical bills that resulted from the incident. If you relied on that person for financial support, the court could determine that you have incurred damages.
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
It is never easy to lose a loved one, especially in situations where their untimely death could have been avoided. If you believe the death of your loved one was caused by someone else, it is important to turn to an experienced attorney who understands the scope of the evidence needed to support this claim. At Shlesinger and deVilleneuve, our experienced team can evaluate your case and determine if a wrongful death claim is feasible in your situation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.