Meeting The Burden Of Proof In A Wrongful Death Claim
When a person dies suddenly and unexpectedly through an accident that was caused by someone else the shock to their family members can be overwhelming and devastating. Not only did a family lose a loved one, but the legal and financial impact resulting from the accident can be significant and negatively impact them for a long time afterwards. To protect their interests, these family members may choose to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Burden Of Proof for Wrongful Death
To cut down on the number of frivolous lawsuits by certain attorneys, the burden of proof has become more complicated to prove. To prove a wrongful death claim an attorney and their clients must meet the following elements of liability:
Duty – It must be shown that the party who caused the wrongful death had a duty to protect the deceased from acting in a way that could have foreseeably predicted that a death might take place. For example, a truck driver who has been on the road for 24 hours straight and falls asleep should have known that a catastrophic accident might happen.
Breach of Duty – Did the defendant fall short of meeting an appropriate standard of care or act negligently? Driving 24 hours straight would easily meet that standard.
Causation – Did the defendant’s actions or failure to act was the cause of the wrongful death? This might sound easy to prove, but that is not always the case because several factors could have caused the wrongful death and not all of them may be attached to the defendant’s actions.
Damages – How much financial damage was there to the person’s surviving relatives. Damages are calculated according to fixed formulas in many courts. The amount can depend on the age, occupation and financial contributions of the deceased, among other factors.
Contact A Wrongful Death Lawyer in Baton Rouge
Williamson Fontenot Campbell & Whittington, LLC proudly serves Baton Rouge and nearby Louisiana communities. We’ve worked on wrongful death lawsuits and cases for years now and have a wealth of experience with these issues.