Wrongful death claims are based on statutes that permit civil litigation by the survivors of a person killed by another entity’s negligent or wrongful acts. The article below discusses what a wrongful death attorney in Lake City, FL must prove to win a case based on the defendant’s negligence.
An Explanation of Wrongful Death
Before survivor and wrongful death statutes were created, the heirs of one killed by someone else’s intentional or negligent acts were barred from suing because the claim could be brought only by the injured party. Wrongful death statutes were created by legislatures to compensate families for a person’s death, including damages for pain and suffering, loss of financial support, funeral costs, and other losses depending on the circumstances of the case.
Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases
Although damages in wrongful death cases may differ from those available in conventional negligence cases, plaintiffs must prove similar elements in both lawsuit types. The elements to be proven are the duty of care, duty breach, causation, and economic damages.
For the defendant to be held liable, they must have owed a duty to the decedent. While the duty’s definition may vary depending on the case’s facts, it is usually a duty to not do things that harm others. In wrongful death cases, judges decide whether a duty was owed. In doing so, they consider a variety of factors including the defendant’s moral culpability.
If the defendant owed the decedent a duty of care, the plaintiff must prove that the duty was breached. A plaintiff may offer evidence of a defendant’s inattentiveness that proves they breached the duty because of the unreasonable nature of the act.
Next, the plaintiff must prove that the breach caused harm. Plaintiffs must also prove the defendant’s actions caused the person’s death, and not an external factor. If a decedent was already hurt and the breach on the part of the defendant caused the death, causation is likely. In many cases, causation issues are very complex. Therefore, it is recommended that surviving family members visit Northfloridaautoaccidentlawyer.com and hire a wrongful death attorney in Lake City, FL to handle the details of a wrongful death case.
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