What are the legal elements of a wrongful death case?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2018 | Wrongful Death |

When an Oakland family is devastated by a death caused by another party’s negligence, shock, sadness and anger may be a few of the emotions felt by family members. In this situation, it may be possible for survivors to seek damages from the responsible party in a wrongful death lawsuit. This blog post will provide some basic information on the legal elements and typical circumstances of a wrongful death case.

In order to prove a case of wrongful death in court, a plaintiff must prove four elements. They must prove that the death of a human being occurred. They must also prove that the death was caused by another party’s negligence, with or without the intent to cause harm. Furthermore, surviving family members – the people who have standing to bring a wrongful death case – must suffer monetary injury as a result of the death. Finally, a personal representative must be appointed to represent the interests of the estate in the wrongful death suit.

What kinds of circumstances could give rise to a wrongful death claim? Perhaps the most common wrongful death scenario is a fatal car accident that is the fault of another party. This is especially true if the responsible party was engaging in drunk driving at the time of the accident. Another common scenario is medical malpractice. If medical malpractice results in a patient’s death, the patient’s family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim.

If the responsible party was engaging in criminal behavior that caused the death, that party may be liable. If the victim suffered occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against manufacturers, equipment providers and certain other parties.

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