Losing a loved one to death might be the greatest tragedy anyone can ever face. It’s more saddening if the death was untimely. Not only are you left emotionally traumatized but you also have to endure an economic burden if the lost loved one was a breadwinner.
But what if you have the conviction that the death was caused by someone’s carelessness? Legally, you can take the person or organization to a civil court on the grounds of negligence. Though no monetary compensation can cover the cost of losing a loved one, it can help lessen the economic damage.
So, proving wrongful death in a civil court can help you get money from the defendant to cover you for the damages suffered. However, it’s never easy and that’s why you need an attorney to help you. The attorney can perform several roles and here are the main ones.
- Collect Evidence
In a civil court, pieces of evidence that you provide win cases. So, don’t expect it to be any different when dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney knows what pieces are necessary for your case. They know how to compile the proofs to make your claim a winnable one. Generally, they are likely to consider the following:
- Images of the accident scene
- Video footages of the accident scene
- Medical records of the deceased
- Expert testimonies
- Witness statements
- Defendant’s declarations
- Prove Duty of Care
With the evidence collected, an attorney can help you prove in court that the accused owed the departed duty of care. Simply put, the accused did not observe care as he or she is expected to. For example, if the death was caused by a car accident that would have been avoided, your attorney can help you prove that the accused driver had the obligation of observing traffic rules but didn’t do so.
- Prove Breach of Duty of Care
Proving the duty of care is not enough to win you a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court. You need to show that the defendant went to the extent of breaching the duty of care. In our first case, you need to show that the accused driver intentionally ignored the traffic rules and this directly led to the accident. So, you may need to specify things like:
- Over speeding
- Ignoring traffic lights
An expert attorney knows what needs to be mentioned here to prove a breach of duty of care.
- Prove Causation
You need to show how the defendant’s negligence led to the death of your loved one. Thus, you may have to show that the action of the defendant directly or indirectly led to the death in question. This means that something like a mechanical issue may not link the defendant to the death of a loved one.
Common causes of wrongful death in most civil cases that an attorney can help you with are:
- Medical malpractice
- Car accident
- Occupational hazard
- Failed supervision
- Criminal act
- Prove Damages
Damages refer to monetary award offered to compensate you and your family for a loss suffered. In our case, the loss is wrongful death. Attorneys know how to prove this and they are likely to consider these factors:
- Medical costs before the death of your loved one
- The cost of the funeral and burial arrangements
- Lost income as a result of the death
- Loss of companionship, care, and love
- Loss of inheritance
- Pain and emotional suffering caused by the death
So many wrongful death claims don’t hold in civil courts because the plaintiff can’t prove their accusation. This is why it’s advisable to hire an attorney. Some of the best legal experts Georgia has to offer will perform the above roles and many others to guarantee you a win at the end.