Wrongful death can occur for a variety of reasons:
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Criminal activity
- Automobile accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Product liability
- Bicycle accidents
Losing a loved one creates a difficult time for all, particularly if you believe negligence contributed to their passing. There are likely several questions racing through your mind after such a sudden and traumatic event.
Proving Liability in Wrongful Death Claims
Like we mentioned above, proving liability is the key to filing and eventually winning a wrongful death claim. Primarily, you must prove two things:
- The liable party caused the death.
- The deceased party would have had just cause to file a personal injury claim had they survived their injuries.
Once you have established who would be liable for the wrongful death and that the deceased would have cause to file a personal injury claim, you can begin determining whether negligence contributed to the wrongful death. Establishing liability in personal injury cases requires determining the following:
- Establishing a duty of care
- Establishing a breach of the duty
- Proving causation
Establishing A Duty of Care in Wrongful Death
A duty of care is essentially how a reasonable person should act in a given situation. A duty of care requires people and organizations to not engage in activities which put the safety of others at risk. A duty of care varies depending on where the accident occurred and the events that took place.
For example, if your loved one was driving at the time of their accident, then there are certain duties the other drivers must adhere to while navigating the roads. Driving within the speed limit and stopping at red lights qualifies as a duty. Another example of a duty of care is the safety measures an employer must maintain while you work. They must ensure that all equipment, hardware, and the property itself is safe while you complete your workday.
Breach of Duty in Wrongful Death
When you know what a person or party’s duty of care was to the deceased, you can investigate if there was a breach of duty. A breach of duty is anything in direct conflict with how a reasonable person would act to ensure safety.
If your loved one died because another driver ran a red light while speeding, this represents a breach of duty on the part of that driver. Moreover, if an employer knowingly allowed you to use defective equipment or allowed other dangerous items in a work area, this is a breach of duty too.
Proving Causation in Wrongful Death
Proving causation is key in determining who you can sue for wrongful death. There may be instances when a person or party is responsible for your accident but not directly responsible for the death of the deceased. For instance, it is possible that the initial car that sped and ran a red light caused the accident but is also not responsible for the death of your loved one. An example of this could be if another vehicle hit the car after the initial impact from the first vehicle or if the victim’s car had defective airbags.
Ultimately, determining who you can sue for wrongful death relies on the ability to draw a direct connection between the cause of the accident and the death. And S. Burke Law dedicates itself to determining where that connection is and what you should receive in damages.
Call an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
Collecting damages after personal injury cases is among the top concerns for every personal injury claim. But they take on greater importance in wrongful death cases. While money can never replace your loved one, those damages may be essential to your own survival if your loved one was the primary breadwinner for your family.
We encourage you to reach out to S. Burke Law. Our firm has represented families in several wrongful death cases. We can examine the details of your case and help answer your questions. S. Burke Law fights on your behalf to help collect the damages you require following this unfortunate accident. We begin determining who you can sue for wrongful death with a free consultation.