Losing a loved one in an accident is traumatic and heartbreaking. Those feelings are only made worse when you find out that the death could have been avoided if there had not been negligence. However, is it truly negligence? Or is it a situation where everything was working correctly and something went wrong anyway? Proving a wrongful death case may not be as easy as it seems on the surface. This is why you need help from an attorney to learn about your options and get help as you pursue legal action.
Was the Death Caused by Negligence of Another Person?
Unfortunately, this question may not be easily answered even if it looks like there’s someone who should be held liable. In some cases, a person may have had what is known as a “Duty of Care” for the deceased. An example of Duty of Care would be if multiple employees work on an oil rig and safety for the employees must be observed at all times by the supervisor. If the supervisor walked away from the rig without due cause and one of the crew members was killed in their absence, that supervisor may be held liable. But if that supervisor was on the job and made a reasonable attempt to keep the rig safe for employees, his liability isn’t as clear-cut.
Proving a Case of Negligence in Court
Holding a defendant liable in court requires that the plaintiffs have to meet a burden of proof that their loved one would have needed to meet for a personal injury claim in the event they survived the accident. In the case of negligence, the plaintiffs have to show that the defendant did have a duty of care and breached it and that the death was a direct result of the breach, and the death resulted in the damages the plaintiffs are suing for.
The court looks into the circumstances of the accident to determine if the defendant did or did not do something that a “reasonably prudent person” would do. A “reasonably prudent person” is a legal standard that is used as a measure of how the average person in that situation would responsibly act. Another element that is brought into the case is causation. This is where the court looks at the actions of the defendant to make sure they had a role in causing the death or not, or if they knew their actions could result in an injury.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one to an accident that was the fault of someone else’s negligence, contact us today for a consultation with an attorney. At Titus Law, LLC, we are here to help you fight for your rights and those of your loved one.