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How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?

Experienced Attorney

A wrongful death is a term used to describe the death of a person that was caused by either an intentional act (such as murder), recklessness or negligence of another person or entity. The people who file a wrongful death suit are usually the immediate family or next of kin to the deceased. They are often seeking damages for financial damages as well as emotional damages that have resulted from the death of their loved one.

Some Common Causes of Wrongful Death

  • Birth injuries
  • Product defects
  • Medical malpractice
  • Automobile, motorcycle or commercial vehicle accidents
  • Occupational hazards
  • Premises accidents
  • Criminal actions like shooting, stabbings, blatant violence
  • Supervised accidents (School field trips, day cares, nursing home accidents)

One thing that sets a wrongful death suit apart from a criminal case is that the burden of proof is lower–you do not have to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable death; rather, the lawsuit must be won on the preponderance of evidence. In other words, the evidence is about quality rather and quantity.

When attempting to prove that a person’s death was wrongful as defined by the law, loved ones must file claim or lawsuit and prove the following elements. This is where it could be helpful to have an experienced wrongful death lawyer on your side.

Negligence: The loved ones pursuing the case must prove that the death of their family member was caused by the negligent or careless actions of the defendants.

Breach of Duty: It is not enough to simply prove that the defendant was negligent. In order to prove a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs must prove that the defendant owed the decedent a duty. For example, if a family is suing for the wrongful death of their loved one who was killed in a car accident, it must be proven that the driver who caused the accident did so because they were being careless on the road or were breaking traffic laws. Once it is proven that the duty existed, it must be proven that it was breached.

Causation: Once the breach of duty is proven, the plaintiff and their legal team must prove how the defendant’s negligence actually caused their loved one’s death.

Damages: Then it must be proven that the death of the victim has generated damages such as medical expenses from the decedent’s injuries, the pain and suffering of the deceased before death, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, loss of potential earnings, loss of protection and loss of guidance and inheritance.

In order to prove these four elements, having an experienced wrongful death lawyer on your side could benefit you. Having someone to help you produce strong evidence and expert witnesses can result in fair compensation for you and your family.

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is never an easy thing to do, but it can be especially difficult when it is a result of the negligence of another person or entity. If you lost your loved one because of someone else’s misconduct, you may be able to get compensation with the help of a wrongful death lawyer Minneapolis, MN trusts about your case.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and how to prove wrongful death.

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