Whether the cause was a motorcycle accident, car wreck, or anything else, losing a loved one suddenly is the hardest thing anyone will ever have to endure. If you’ve suffered this devastating loss, the attorneys with Jones Law Group offer their deepest condolences.
You might be looking for justice. You want to hold accountable those responsible for the accident. If that’s the case, we’re ready to help. We have a great deal of experience in cases similar to yours. We’ll do everything we can to make sure anyone who played a role in causing your loved one’s death pays dearly for their negligence.
Here’s a look at some of the challenges attorneys face when trying to prove a wrongful death. You’ll also learn how we overcome these obstacles.
Seeking Justice for Wrongful Death
It’s only natural that the survivors of someone who dies due to another’s negligence would want justice. Florida law allows them to seek that justice through a wrongful death lawsuit. While there isn’t enough money in the world to make up for what survivors have lost, they can at least find closure by taking legal action.
But that doesn’t mean achieving justice will be easy. If you’re considering legal action, it’s going to be challenging.
Proving that Negligence Led to Your Loved One’s Death
You might be 100% certain that a truck driver caused the accident that claimed your loved one. Or, you could be sure that a negligent motorist caused your family member’s death.
Unfortunately, that won’t mean anything when it comes to your case. You’ll need solid evidence to back up your claim.
You’ll have to establish four elements to win your case. The following is a quick look at each.
Duty of Care
To prove negligence, you must first establish that the responsible party owed your loved one a duty of care. A duty of care is a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent harm to others. For example, suppose someone dies in a car accident. The survivors will have to prove the driver of the other vehicle owed a duty of care to their loved one to operate their vehicle safely and follow traffic laws.
Breaching the Duty of Care
You must next show that the negligent party breached that duty of care. This means they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent harm to your loved one. If, for instance, the other vehicle driver was speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may have breached their duty of care to your loved one.
Next, you must establish that the responsible party’s breach of duty caused your loved one’s death. This means that your loved one would not have died if not for the responsible party’s actions.
Finally, you must show that your loved one’s death resulted in actual financial losses or damages. These include medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost income. These damages are meant to compensate the surviving family members for their financial losses due to their loved one’s death.
Damages Your Loved One Experienced
You may be able to obtain compensation for damages your loved one incurred before passing away. They may have been hospitalized for a few days, undergoing surgery and receiving medication. Even though the treatment was unsuccessful, there will still be medical bills. Your loved one might have also experienced pain and suffering before passing away.
Damages Caused by Your Loved One’s Death
State law spells out the types of damages family members may be eligible to receive as a direct result of their loved one’s death. These include the following:
- Emotional distress: Survivors will typically experience severe mental trauma due to their loss. They may be eligible to recover damages for their distress.
- Loss of companionship: Spouses and children may be able to obtain compensation for the loss of guidance, instruction, and cooperation provided by their loved ones.
- Loss of support/services: Survivors could sue for the contributions the deceased would have made to the household. These include lost wages (present and future), the value of the services they provided around the home, and more.
You must also know that the court must approve the amount if a settlement or jury award goes to a minor or incapacitated survivor. The same is true if any survivors dispute the settlement or award.
Roadblocks in Proving Wrongful Death
As noted earlier, proving wrongful death can be a complex and challenging legal process. Several roadblocks can make it difficult to prove that someone was responsible for your loved one’s death.
One of the biggest is the burden of proof. In order to succeed in a wrongful death claim, you must prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that you must prove that it’s more likely than not that the responsible party caused your loved one’s death.
Another roadblock in proving wrongful death is the lack of witnesses or evidence. If there were no witnesses to the incident that caused your loved one’s death or little physical evidence to support your claim, it could be challenging to prove your case.
Tactics We Use to Prove Wrongful Death and Get the Compensation You Deserve
How do you overcome those challenges? You hire a skilled wrongful death attorney as soon as you can. Despite the roadblocks in proving wrongful death, there are several tactics the lawyers with the Jones Law Group can use to build a strong case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
For example, we can investigate the accident and collect the proof to build a strong case. We have ways of obtaining proof that non-lawyers don’t.
Our attorneys can, for instance, obtain phone records if we suspect a distracted driver caused your loved one’s death. If the cause was a truck accident, we could get data from the truck’s “black box.” This data will include the speed of the truck, whether or not the driver applied the brakes, and more.
Jones Law Group also has relationships with several expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction experts. They can show a jury how an accident occurred in clear language that’s easy to understand.