If a loved one in your life died in a manner that you feel was preventable and due to the negligence of someone else, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you have to be able to prove specific things and hit specific markers.
#1 Prove that Someone Else Caused Your Loved One's Death
The first thing that you are going to have to prove in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit is that your loved one's death was not a direct result of their own actions. You need to show that the defendant, who you are pursuing, was either fully or partially responsible for your loved one's death. The defendant can be responsible either through their direct action or through their failure to act. You need to be able to prove the your loved one's death was the result of the action of a defendant.
For example, if your loved one was killed by an accident at a construction site due to unsafe work conditions, you would need to prove that the conditions were unsafe and that the construction company knew the conditions were unsafe or should have known that the conditions were unsafe.
#2 Prove that the Defendant Should be Held Responsible
Just because someone else played a part in your loved one's death doesn't mean that they should be held responsible. If the defendant was acting with care, being as safe as possible, and an accident just happened, you may not be able to prove a wrongful death.
For the defendant to be held responsible, they need to have acted in a way that was negligent. You need to be able to show that the defendant should be held responsible for your loved one's death, not just that they contributed to your loved one's death.
#3 Has to Be Monetary Damages
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter, not a criminal matter. The main purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to gain money for the death of your loved one. In that respect, you need to be able to tie monetary damage to your lawsuit. There are lots of different ways of figuring out monetary damage. You can sue for your loved one's medical bills and funeral expenses. You can also sue for the lose of future wages and support that your loved one provided your family with.
#4 Must Have the Right Connection to Your Loved One
Finally, in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you have to have the right connection to your loved one. In many states, you have to be a spouse, child, or some form of dependent of the deceased in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In other states, the relationship net is a little wider, allowing the parents and even brothers and sisters of a loved one to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Make sure that you have the right family connection in order to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
For more information, reach out to a firm like Sauro & Bergstrom, PLLC.