Filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Proving Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases

In Personal Injury by Greensboro Attorney

Have you lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence? You could file a wrongful death lawsuit. Before you take legal action, it pays to understand the elements of a wrongful death case in NC to help you build a strong case.

What is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death is defined as any sudden or accidental death of someone resulting from another party’s negligence. Because of the untimely death resulting from the other party’s negligence, legal action can be taken to seek compensation for the wrongful death

Medical malpractice is one of the most common examples of wrongful death. Another example is the statewide E.coli outbreak due to the undercooked burgers of a fast food chain in Washington in 1986. Wrongful death cases can result from willful misconduct or neglect by someone else. 

Medical malpractice is an example of wrongful death.

How to Prove Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases

When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, gathering evidence proving negligence from the other party to support your case is crucial. The evidence must directly show that the concerned party’s action (or negligence) caused the death.

The following are examples of evidence that you can collect as part of a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Photograph or video evidence during the incident.
  • Eyewitness statements detailing the events as they witnessed them.
  • Video surveillance footage within the vicinity of the incident.
  • Documents and other records that relate to the wrongful death case.
  • Mobile device activities and transactions.
  • Black box data (for wrongful death cases taking place inside a vehicle).
  • Safety history and inspection records for the concerned companies or institutions.

The above is merely an overview of potential evidence that you can use to prove negligence in a wrongful death claim. There is more potential evidence you can use to support your case, depending on the nature of the wrongful death incident. 

Collect evidence for wrongful death case.

Four Elements of Negligence

Not all evidence is admissible in court to support a wrongful death case. The evidence must meet the following elements to show that the evidence can directly prove there was misconduct, negligence, or a wrongful act from the defending party that led to the victim’s wrongful death.

  1. Duty

The defending party had a ‘duty’ of care to perform to the victim, and they failed to perform that duty, resulting in the victim’s death—for example, a doctor who performs surgery to treat a victim’s medical condition. The doctor’s ‘duty’ is to treat the patient and ensure their safety. Failure to do so can constitute a wrongful death claim.

  1. Breach

When the duty of care is established in the case, you must prove that the defendant breached that duty of care during the incident resulting in the victim’s death. Another example is hiring a driver to help you safely reach a destination. But the driver was reckless and drove beyond the speed limit, resulting in a collision that caused the victim’s death. The driver breached their duty to drive the victim safely to their destination. 

  1. Causation

Once you establish a breach of the defendant’s duty, you must show a link between those actions as directly causing the victim’s death. Using the example of the reckless driver above, they could have avoided the accident if the driver stayed within the speed limit.

  1. Damages

Aside from the death, you must prove the extent of monetary loss and other damage sustained because of the incident. 

Why Hire an Attorney?

A wrongful death attorney in NC can help you navigate the intricacies of proving negligence in a wrongful death case. It’s not easy dealing with the loss of a loved one if it weren’t for the reckless actions of another person or party. Therefore, you need the legal expertise of a wrongful death attorney to ensure you can obtain the justice you seek.