What Makes Up a Wrongful Death and How to Pursue a Civil Action


A wrongful death is a person’s death due to negligence or recklessness of other people or entities. Often, the deceased victim’s immediate family members seek a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in order to get compensation for their financial and emotional damages.

Major Elements Involved in a Wrongful Death

Surviving family members who file a lawsuit or submit a claim should prove every element in order to win their case. Proving these elements in court through a lawsuit requires the plaintiff to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer who will present strong evidence and expert witness testimony. The main elements of the death include:

  • Breach of duty. Surviving family members of the deceased victim can be successful in their case if they can prove that the defendant owed a duty to their deceased loved one. For instance, medical health providers and physicians should maintain the health of their patients. Drivers should maintain a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws. Plaintiffs need to establish the existence of the defendant’s duty which was breached because of negligence.

  • Negligence or recklessness. It is important for surviving family members or their North Miami Beach wrongful death lawyer to prove that the death was caused by the defending party’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness.
  • How negligence caused the death. Apart from proving how the defendant’s duty was breached toward the deceased victim, the plaintiff should prove how the negligence of the defendant caused the death.
  • Damages. The victim’s death should have generated damages like medical expenses, hospitalization, funeral and burials costs, possible earning and income losses, protection loss and inheritance.

Pursuing Civil Action for Wrongful Death

A wrongful death is a civil action which makes the burden of proof set lower. The lawsuit can succeed if won on the preponderance of the evidence. Pursuing a civil action for such death includes several steps such as establishing a strategy, speaking with experts, investigating their claim and learning about the applicable law. The process includes mediation, demands and a potential claim settlement. If both parties cannot reach an agreement, a lawsuit may be filed so that the case will be taken to trial. The plaintiff needs to establish the credibility and quality of their evidence. That is why they need to hire a knowledgeable lawyer who can build a solid case to meet the burden of proof. Otherwise, the plaintiff won’t be able to recover damages.

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