How to Win a Wrongful Death Claim
How can you prove wrongful death in a civil lawsuit in Louisiana? The following are the central elements of a wrongful death case, and our firm will gather the evidence you need for proof — from obtaining police reports to seeking out witnesses to support your case.
Duty of Care
The elements of a wrongful death lawsuit are very similar to those of a personal injury lawsuit, since both types of claims involve proving another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing caused an injury or death and showing how that party’s actions or inactions resulted in damages. The first element of a successful claim is straightforward and typically easy to prove, which is showing that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. Duty of care is owed in all kinds of situations, and it means simply that the defendant has a duty to act as a reasonable person would in a same or similar situation. Drivers always owe other motorists and pedestrians a duty of care, for example.
Breach of the Duty of Care (Negligence or Intentional Wrongdoing)
Next, you will need to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care by behaving negligently or engaging in an act of intentional wrongdoing. How you prove negligence or wrongdoing will depend on the circumstances of the case, but for example, you might seek witness testimony to show that a motorist was texting while driving, or that a driver was drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Causation is usually the third element that must be proven in order to win a wrongful death case. In short, you will need to show that the defendant’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing was a cause of your loved one’s death. Evidence for proving causation will depend on the nature of the incident in which your loved one was killed. Examples of evidence for proving causation might include police reports or witness testimony, which our firm will obtain for you.
Finally, you will need to prove that damages resulted from your loved one’s wrongful death. There are various ways to prove damages, including medical bills and related documentation.
Additional Things to Consider
Beyond the required elements of a wrongful death case, it will also be essential to work with a lawyer to make sure you are eligible to file a claim. Certain close family members can file wrongful death lawsuits in Louisiana, and your lawyer can provide you with more information. In addition, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within one year from the date of death, so it is critical to begin working on your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Shreveport Wrongful Death Attorney
Our firm knows how complex and traumatic wrongful death cases can be, and we are here to advocate for you and your loved one at every step. One of the experienced and dedicated Shreveport wrongful death lawyers at Rice & Kendig, LLC can speak with you today about the circumstances of your loved one’s death and can assist you with a wrongful death claim from start to finish. We know how emotionally difficult and complicated these cases can be. Our firm has years of experience serving clients in Louisiana, and we are here to assist you.