Wrongful death cases are arguably the most complex type of personal injury cases. To prove a wrongful death and receive compensation, it’s important to have an in-depth understanding of what is required for these cases. Let’s go over some common causes of wrongful death, evidence that helps support your claim, and how a legal team can help you get the best outcome.
Common Wrongful Death Cases
In almost any situation, negligence and recklessness leading to someone’s death can be considered wrongful death.
The most common types of cases are:
- Car accidents: these are the most common claims because of how frequently we travel by car. Drunk and reckless drivers may be held liable if they cause a fatal accident.
- Medical malpractice: when doctors make mistakes during diagnosis or treatment, they may be held responsible if those mistakes were easily avoided. For example, failing to provide adequate tests and getting a delayed diagnosis leads to decreased treatment effectiveness.
- Truck accidents: because of their size and force, truck accidents are often fatal. This can be due to driver error, poor truck maintenance, or even faulty truck parts.
- Motorcycle accidents: passenger vehicles are one of the most dangerous things on the road for motorcyclists.
- Defective products: these cases are often more complex as there is no clear person at-fault. Instead, the fault must be tracked back to the manufacturer or distributor.
- Workplace accidents: when unsafe working conditions lead to death, the employer may be held responsible.
Evidence for Wrongful Death Claims
There needs to be clear evidence of wrongdoing to support a wrongful death claim. It’s crucial to collect as much as you can to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence was the direct cause of your loved one’s passing.
Breach of Duty of Care. This is one of the key components of negligence. This occurs when the at-fault party had a duty to provide a standard of care and safety to the victim but failed to do so. This is especially common in medical malpractice and nursing home abuse cases. You can prove this breach by citing laws, regulations, or other standards that were violated by the at-fault person or organization.
Police Reports. Police reports can be beneficial after a fatal traffic accident. As one of the first people on the scene, the police must fill out official reports about the accident. These reports can help tell the story of what occurred and who was at fault for the accident.
Medical and Autopsy Reports. Medical records can show important, relevant information to the deceased’s passing. For example, any past neglect from a healthcare provider may be found in medical records. Furthermore, an autopsy can confirm the deceased’s cause of death.
Photographic Evidence. Photos and videos are some of the strongest evidence you can have in any type of legal case. However, for wrongful death, it may be hard to get this. For car, truck, or motorcycle accidents, you may be able to secure security camera or dashcam footage that shows the events leading to the fatal collision.
Witness Testimony. If there are any conflicting reports or lingering unknowns, witnesses of an accident can state what they saw occur.
Financial Records. While financial records won’t necessarily prove whether or not a case should be considered a wrongful death, it’s important to keep this information for valuing the settlement.
Wrongful Death Settlements
Once the evidence has helped determine an at-fault party, a wrongful death attorney can help you with receiving a settlement.
The settlement should cover costs for:
- Medical bills,
- Funeral and burial expenses,
- Lost income due to your loved one passing, and
- Mental pain and suffering.
The insurance companies look to pay the lowest amount possible. After all, they are a business. A wrongful death attorney knows this and can help negotiate to make sure you get what you deserve and are not underpaid in your settlement.
Miami Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys
At Mitchell & West, LLC, we can work with you to collect the necessary evidence to prove your wrongful death case. After this, we can advocate for you to get the highest settlement possible. You have endured the tragic loss of a loved one and you deserve justice. When you are ready to get started, our team is here for you: (305) 783-3301.