What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

If someone’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing causes the death of someone else, they can be held liable for that individual’s death. The immediate family of the decedent can pursue a wrongful death claim against the liable party to recover compensation for the damages suffered.

Wrongful deaths let the immediate family or estate of a decedent to pursue a lawsuit against the party who is legally responsible for the death whether it was by negligence or an intentional act. Usually, a wrongful death claim can only be filed by the estate of the deceased or their immediate family members.

A wrongful death claim can be filed if the victim would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim against the liable party if they had not been killed because of the action. There are numerous actions that can lead to a wrongful death claim. As an example, you can pursue a wrongful death claim for the following:

  • The victim was intentionally killed by another party
  • The victim died because of medical malpractice or medical negligence
  • The victim was killed in a car crash that was caused by negligence

You will need supporting evidence and documentation that shows the other party was liable for the death of the individual.

What Must You Prove For A Successful Wrongful Death Claim?

To hold the other party liable for a wrongful death claim, you will need to meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have had to have proven to have a successful personal injury claim if he or she had survived the incident. A wrongful death claim can be filed after almost any personal injury situation that leads to death, unless it occurred on the job and then it would be filed through a workers’ compensation claim.

As an example, to prove that the other party was negligent, you must show that all four elements of negligence apply to this situation. You will need to show that the other party owed you a duty of care, that the duty of care was breached, that the breach of duty was the cause of the individual’s death, and that the death led to the damages that you are wanting to recover through the wrongful death claim.

Pursuing A Wrongful Death Claim

If your loved one has died in an accident in the Portland-Vancouver area, you should consult with the Harlan Law Firm about a wrongful death claim. A personal injury attorney who is familiar with the wrongful death claims process will be able to review the details of your case and determine the best way to proceed with your claim. Call or email for a case evaluation today!