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Key elements in proving wrongful death

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Personal Injury |

When a loved one passes away due to someone else’s actions or negligence, the surviving family members have the option to pursue a wrongful death claim. This legal action aims to hold the responsible party accountable and compensate the survivors.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that litigants will triumph in court. Winning a wrongful death suit requires proving several elements.

Duty of care

First, the relatives must show that the defendant had a duty of care towards the deceased. The nature of the relationship needs to suggest a responsibility or obligation on behalf of the defendant to act in a way that would prevent harm.

Breach of duty

The next step is to show evidence of the defendant breaching this duty. A jury should be able to see concrete proof of the person or organization failing to meet the appropriate level of care.


Causation is the link between the breach of duty and the death of a loved one. It must be clear that the defendant is directly responsible for the fatality. The suing party must show that there would be no loss of life if not for the defendant’s negligence or wrongful act. Doing this could require accident reconstruction or testimony from a medical professional.


The final step is showing that the death directly relates to monetary damages, such as funeral expenses and lost income. There can also be noneconomic damages. Emotional suffering and loss of companionship fall into this category.

Proving wrongful death is a delicate process that entails intense consideration. Only by handling it correctly will the legal system provide justice regarding someone’s passing.