Being involved in a wrongful death case as a plaintiff is a highly stressful and emotional experience. The legal process can be confusing and overwhelming, making it hard to know where to turn or what to do. However, understanding the basics of a wrongful death case can help ease some of that stress.
That’s why you need a reliable wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles to help you through this tough time in your life. A lawyer will help the plaintiff prove several elements to strengthen their case.
Element #1: Negligence
The first element that must be proved in a wrongful death case is that the defendant was negligent. This means proving that the defendant did not act with reasonable care towards the plaintiff and that their actions directly caused the plaintiff’s death.
Establishing negligence can be difficult, as it is a subjective standard. What may seem like reasonable care to one person may not seem so to another. Factors that can be considered when determining negligence include:
- The actions of the defendant;
- The circumstances of the incident;
- The relationship between the defendant and the victim; and
- Whether the defendant had a duty to take reasonable care towards the victim and it was breached.
Many factors must be considered when determining whether negligence was present. This is why it is important to have an experienced wrongful death lawyer on your side who can investigate the incident and gather evidence to support your claim.
Element #2: Breach of Duty
The second element that must be proved is that the defendant breached their duty to take reasonable care towards the victim. This means that the defendant did not act as a reasonable person would have under the same or similar circumstances.
To determine whether a breach of duty occurred, the court will look at the defendant’s actions and compare them to what a reasonable person would have done under similar circumstances. If the defendant’s actions were not in line with those of a reasonable person, there was likely a breach of duty.
Element #3: Causation
The third element that must be proved in a wrongful death case is causation or causation in fact. This means that the defendant’s actions must have directly caused the victim’s death. The plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions were a direct and substantial cause of the victim’s death to prove causation.
This can sometimes be difficult to prove, as there may be other factors like pre-existing medical conditions that contributed to the victim’s death. In these cases, it will be necessary for the plaintiff to have a wrongful death lawyer who can expertly investigate the incident and gather evidence to support their claim.
Element #4: Damages
The final element that must be proved in a wrongful death case is damages. This means that the plaintiff must have suffered some form of loss due to the victim’s death. The types of damages that can be claimed include:
- Medical and funeral expenses;
- Lost income or financial support;
- The loss of love, companionship, guidance, care, and support;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Mental anguish.
Situations Where a Wrongful Death May Occur
There are many situations in which a wrongful death may occur. Some of the most common include:
- Motorist accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Workplace accidents;
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Defective product accidents; and
- Drowning or other water-related accidents.
Wrongful death cases are complex and difficult to win, which is why it is so important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. With the help of a reliable wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles, you can get the support and guidance you need to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Haffner Law is a leading law firm with over 20 years of experience handling wrongful death cases. Speak with our attorney today for further information on wrongful death claims and how to proceed with your case.