After the fatal accident of a loved one, the family of the deceased has a right to sue the at-fault party for compensation. Before the surviving family can win a wrongful death case, however, they need to prove that the individual responsible actually caused the death.
This is where an autopsy can help. Although this surgical procedure isn’t legally required when pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, it can help strengthen your case.
The Process behind an Autopsy
The procedure starts with an external examination of the body. Qualified pathologists measure and record the height and weight of the corpse. They also note and describe any identifying marks, such as scars and tattoos. The scope of an autopsy may range from the evaluation of one organ to a highly comprehensive and extensive examination.
When it comes to examining the internal parts, pathologists make standard and appropriate incisions and inspect every inch of the abdominal cavity, ribcage, neck, and organs. They may also weigh, measure, or further dissect the internal organs.
Pathologists conclude the autopsy by closing the incisions made during the procedure — with or without the internal organs, depending on the need for further investigation, research or diagnostic purposes.
The Importance of an Autopsy
Plaintiffs looking to prevail over a wrongful death case need to prove a direct line of causation between the death of the decedent and the defendant’s actions or failure to act. The evidence obtained in the autopsy offer proof of the cause of death. If an individual, for instance, sustained an injury in a vehicular accident but died months or weeks after the incident, an autopsy helps determine whether the cause of death was something the person later developed or was a direct result of the incident.
Another good reason to have an autopsy done is it gives more definite evidence on the cause of death than a death certificate does. If you are alleging that the death was due to the result of wrongdoing or negligence, it is good to have more specific information.
Going Ahead with the Autopsy
Having an autopsy performed can be a highly emotional decision for many individuals. Some may object because of religious or moral grounds. Grieving parties may also choose not to have the surgical procedure done during their time of confusion and sadness. If you do decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit, having an autopsy report can be highly valuable when it comes to proving your case.
Apart from the autopsy report, you need a trustworthy wrongful death attorney in Long Beach to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. Get the legal assistance you need with the help of Haffner Law. We make sure to hold the negligent party financially responsible for the death of your loved one.
Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
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