As with any personal injury litigation, holding someone else liable for causing another person’s premature death requires proving the defendant was legally “negligent.” However, what qualifies as legally actionable negligence can change a lot from case to case: even if it seems evident that someone else was reckless or careless before a fatal accident, proving their misconduct caused a death can be surprisingly complicated.
Assistance from an experienced lawyer at Roberts Markland LLP can be vital when determining negligence in Houston wrongful death claims. Additionally, our skilled unlawful death attorneys could evaluate the circumstances of your case, collect substantial evidence to establish negligence, and fight to get you and your family the maximum compensation possible for the loss of your loved one.
What Are The Core Elements Of Legal Negligence?
There are four components of legal negligence, all of which must be present during an accident to pursue a civil compensation claim. These components include:
- A “duty” owed by the defendant(s) to the injured person—or, in a wrongful death case, deceased person—to act responsibly
- A reckless or careless act by the defendant(s) constituting a “breach” of that duty
- Direct causation connecting that breach resulting in physical injuries necessitating professional medical care—or in a wrongful death case, fatal injuries
- Verifiable losses connected to the injury that can be addressed through financial restitution
Determining the defendant’s duty can be a deceptively complex part of proving negligence in an unjust death lawsuit, especially since people in Houston owe different “duties” to different individuals. Furthermore, for wrongful death claims against a healthcare provider, you and your family must establish a breach of an “applicable standard of care.” This standard can be demonstrated by determining what a physician with similar skills would have done under the same circumstances. Unfortunately, this process can be incredibly challenging, but a well-informed attorney could help alleviate the stress and prove liability.
Key Evidence For Determining Fault In Wrongful Death Cases
A person’s “duty of care” can change depending on their actions. Likewise, the evidence needed to establish a breach of duty and causation of compensable losses can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, getting a copy of the accident report created by law enforcement officers who responded to the scene after a fatal auto accident may be crucial. At the same time, lawsuits against private property owners might require footage from surveillance cameras to establish precisely how the accident occurred.
In any case, most wrongful death claims in Houston must establish—usually through documents like marriage licenses or birth certificates—a valid familial link between you and the person whose fatal accident you intend to file suit over. Additionally, the decedent’s medical records will be vital in determining how they passed away and whose negligence might have contributed to the death.
An Attorney In Houston Could Assist With Determining Negligence In A Wrongful Death Claim
Determining negligence in Houston wrongful death claims can be a stressful and labor-intensive process; but pursuing a lawsuit like this is vital to ensuring your family gets the compensation you need to minimize your loss’s financial and personal impacts.
Call our capable legal team members today to discuss your options and learn how a capable wrongful death lawyer could help.