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Overview of a wrongful death lawsuit

It can be hard for anyone to understand the agony of losing a loved one due to another person's negligent or reckless behavior. The family members and friends who are left behind are often bewildered and shocked, attempting to pick up the pieces of a life cut too short. Fortunately, surviving family members may have a legal remedy to pursue if the death of their loved one was caused by another party: a wrongful death lawsuit.

Like all legal cases, there are certain elements of a wrongful death claim that must be met in order for a family to be successful in proving their case. First and foremost, there is the obvious element of a death occurring. This is the easiest element to establish, but it must be proven in court nonetheless.

Next, the key to the case: proving that the other party caused the death through negligent or reckless conduct. For instance, in a car accident case, the proof might be that the other driver was drunk or distracted when he caused the accident. In medical malpractice cases, the proof would be that the healthcare professional failed to live up to standards of care. If a family cannot prove this element of the case, the claim will likely fail.

Lastly, there must be proof that the surviving family members will suffer some financial loss due to the untimely death of the loved one. This is often proven in court with evidence of how the lost loved one contributed to the household finances, as well as with details of the individual's income and future earning potential.

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