The Four Elements Of A Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death refers to the death of an individual due to the negligence of other parties, and in a wrongful death case in the state of Florida, you’ll find 4 different elements. Wrongful death cases can stem from a variety of different Florida injuries, but are most commonly found in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and slip and falls. In these personal injury cases, it is usually the family pursuing a lawsuit to cover various damages stemming from the death of a loved one.
Outlining The Elements Of Wrongful Death
The four elements of a wrongful death case are the four things loved ones must prove to win their case and collect their settlement. These elements include:
• Negligence – The first element is negligence, and the loved ones of the deceased must prove that the wrongful death was directly caused by the negligence of another party. This negligence could be a party drinking and driving causing a fatal accident, it could be a property owner knowingly leaving a dangerous hazard on their property which leads to a wrongful death. Essentially, one must prove that without such recklessness, the fatal accident would not have occurred.
• Breach of duty – Next, the family must prove that there was some duty owed to the deceased party that was breached by reckless behavior. For instance, a driver must maintain a duty to drive safely and not cause hazardous situations on the road. A property owner has the duty to keep their property safe. The family of the deceased party must prove what duty was owed, and how that duty was breached causing the wrongful death.
• Causation – After negligence and breach of duty, the deceased’s loved ones must then prove that it was this negligence and this breach of duty that was the cause of the wrongful death. That without these circumstances, the accident would not have occurred.
• Damages – Lastly, damages must be proven in order to obtain a settlement. These damages must include proof of any compensation being sought such as medical costs, funeral costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of protection, and loss of potential earnings. Adding up these damages will bring the family their final settlement amount.
Proving Wrongful Death Cases In Court
With all four elements, one is ready to begin proving their wrongful death case in court. However, this doesn’t mean the case will be cut and dry. Loved ones of the deceased pursuing a lawsuit on their behalf will need to have definitive proof and evidence of each element to have a strong case with a high chance of winning. The best way to collect this evidence and present your case is to have a skilled Florida personal injury attorney on your side. Not only will your attorney assist you through the evidence collection process, but they’ll be there every step of the way to represent you in court.
While proof is important in wrongful death cases, it’s important to remember that these are considered civil cases, not criminal. This means that while proof remains important, a defendant doesn’t need to prove that they are not guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. There is no quantity of evidence required, only that the evidence is quality and backs up each of the four elements of their case.