How Difficult is it to Prove Wrongful Death?
Losing a loved one in an occurrence that was not their fault is one of the hardest things for an individual or family to deal with. In some instances, a surviving family member could file a claim or lawsuit that seeks damages for the wrongful death. Although compensation that a claimant recovers as part of their wrongful death claim can never replace the loss of a loved one, it can bring about a feeling of closure and justice for the terrible loss.
The difficulty in proving a wrongful death claim typically depends upon the circumstances of the accident or occurrence. In order to prove a wrongful death claim, surviving family members must show that the fatal occurrence directly resulted from someone else’s negligence. Family members must also demonstrate that as a result of the incident, their loved one passed away. In some instances, it might be necessary for the surviving individual’s attorney to retain an expert, such as an accident reconstructionist, who can piece together exactly how the accident occurred and prove that it was someone else’s fault.
If your loved one has passed away in an accident that resulted from a person or entity’s wrongful act or negligence, you have legal rights that are available to you. A knowledgeable OC wrongful death attorney in your area can help you decide on the best course of action in your case, including filing a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit in the court system.
The Burden of Proof in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When it comes to proving the legal elements of a California wrongful death claim, the plaintiff – or the claimant – has the legal burden of proof. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff or plaintiffs are the deceased individual’s surviving family members. The at-fault individual or entity does not need to prove anything in the wrongful death lawsuit and does not even need to testify in court if the matter goes to trial. Rather, the sole legal burden rests entirely with the surviving family members to prove that someone else caused the accident and that the accident proximately led to the deceased individual’s untimely death.
Wrongful Death Compensation
Surviving family members of deceased accident victims could recover various types of damages in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. First of all, they could recover the costs of the decedent’s funeral and burial. In addition, they could recover compensation for the loss of their loved one’s companionship and care. Finally, if the surviving family members relied upon the deceased individual for income, they could recover the reasonable amount of compensation that the deceased loved one would have earned going forward.
A knowledgeable California wrongful death lawyer in your area can help you explore your legal options and will work to get you the full amount of compensation that you deserve to recover for the loss of your loved one. If the insurance company refuses to offer you full and fair compensation, your lawyer could file a lawsuit in court on your behalf and litigate your case to a conclusion.