What Do You Need to Prove for a Wrongful Death Case?
Posted on Aug 2, 2021 in Personal Injury, Wrongful Death
Breaking Down How to Win Wrongful Death Damages in New Orleans
Death is never an easy subject. For the deceased’s remaining friends and family members, the sudden death of a loved one is always a tragic ordeal. However, if your loved one died in the state of Louisiana as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death case. Even if the victim died as a result of criminal activity, you may be able to pursue civil action against those responsible.
There are a number of factors that can determine if you have a case or not. As with all legal questions, it is best to consult an experienced attorney. Here at Bloom Legal in New Orleans our wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to providing compassionate assistance and representation. Below we have listed some of the basics of a wrongful death case:
The Burden of Proof is on You
The burden of proof in a wrongful death case falls upon the plaintiff, who is usually the victim’s surviving family. The burden of proof in all Louisiana civil proceedings is based on a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions or lack thereof caused the victim’s death by a probability of “more likely than not.” If you are pursuing a civil case against a party you believe is responsible for the death of your loved one, below are a few key factors that are necessary to prove.
Duty of Care — What Should the Other Party Have Done?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the first thing you must show is that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. Drivers, for example, have a responsibility to respect the regulations of the road, and everyone operating a vehicle has an obligation to operate safely and responsibly. It is the responsibility of medical health professionals and doctors to maintain a person’s health. In essence, it must be proven they were responsible for the victim’s wellbeing.
Just like in any personal injury lawsuit, in a wrongful death case you must prove the defendant was reckless in their actions. Negligence is the breach of the established duty of care. As stated above, first you must prove that there was a duty of care owed to the victim. Once you have shown that the defendant had a responsibility to the safety of the deceased, then you must show that the defendant acted carelessly, or willfully in breaching that established duty of care.
Causation — How Someone’s Actions Led to the Death of a Loved One in New Orleans
In order to show that the defendant’s responsibility to the victim was breached, the plaintiff in the suit must also show how the defendant’s negligence resulted in the death of their loved one. Proving there was a breach of the duty of care and proving that the defendant’s actions caused the wrongful death of the victim are technically two separate tasks. The link between may be clear, or it may take a lot of legal and investigative work to find out. That is why after describing the defendant’s duty of care and how they failed to meet it, you must establish how the breach of care resulted in the victim’s death.
Lastly, you must show that the deceased’s wrongful death culminated in compensable damages. Funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and legal costs, among other things, could be included in these damages. The final compensation amount is determined by calculating the monetary cost to the deceased’s surviving dependents and beneficiaries that resulted from the victim’s death.
Hiring A Wrongful Death Lawyer in New Orleans
An experienced attorney is essential to helping you investigate and establish the burden of proof. They can help you obtain expert witnesses and important documents for your case. With the help of a seasoned Louisiana attorney, you can begin to pursue just compensation for your tragic loss.
If you or someone you know needs legal help, call Bloom Legal’s New Orleans attorneys today at 504-599-9997 for a free consultation.