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Originally Posted On: https://www.shugarlaw.com/blog/how-do-you-prove-negligence-in-a-wrongful-death-claim/
Losing a loved one unexpectedly is one of the most difficult experiences a person can have. When someone else’s negligence is the reason why your loved one died, you might be eligible for compensation. The last thing you need after a significant loss is to deal with financial challenges. A wrongful death lawyer in Maryland helps you file a claim and get financial peace of mind, while you focus on supporting your family and healing from your loss.
Wrongful death claims allow surviving dependents and other family members to seek financial compensation when a loved one dies. Claims can include compensation for:
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses and other costs
To receive compensation in a wrongful death claim, you’ll need to prove negligence. There are four elements involved in legal negligence, including:
- At-fault party was responsible for a duty of care to the victim
- At-fault party breached that duty
- Those action’s resulted in the victim’s death
- Damaged were suffered as a result of the action and the death
In plain language, this means the person against whom you filed a wrongful death claim was responsible for your loved one’s death because of their carelessness or recklessness and you’ve suffered a financial loss and more because of this.
Successful wrongful death claims must prove all four of these factors. An attorney can help you gather evidence and plead your strongest case if you believe a wrongful death claim is warranted after you’ve lost a loved one.
What is Duty of Care?
Someone with a duty of care is expected to act reasonably to prevent other people from being injured. For example, you have a duty of care when you drive to obey traffic signals to not injure other people on the road. Duty of care depends on the deceased’s relationship to the defendant and the circumstances of the situation.
What Does It Mean to Breach the Duty of Care?
Once you’ve established the defendant had a duty of care, you’ll need to show that duty was breached. This can include doing something or failing to do something.
In addition to showing the defendant had a breach of duty of care and breached that duty, you’ll also need to show that the action or inaction caused your loved one’s death.
To do this, your wrongful death lawyer will review the accident report, look at medical records, call on witnesses, and gather other evidence to show the cause of death. The goal is to link your loved one’s death to the actions or inactions of the defendant.
Were There Damages?
Finally, you’ll need to show that your loved one’s death caused measurable damages. This is almost always the case when someone dies because there are medical bills and funeral expenses. Additionally, there is usually a loss of earnings and a great deal of pain and suffering.
There’s a good chance you’re overwhelmed with emotion after the loss of a loved one. Financial challenges only add to this devastating time. A wrongful death attorney can help you pursue financial compensation for your loss while you focus on supporting your family.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Maryland, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.