Negligence may come in a few forms. It can occur when one person is reckless and acts without regard for another. Neglect is also a failure to act when a particular situation warrants it, such as not clearing steps of ice. A person who exhibits incompetent behavior in a professional setting, such as a doctor, can also be found negligent if harm comes to another. In situations where negligence leads to another’s demise, a wrongful death suit may be filed against the negligent party. Take a look at what goes into this type of case.
When Negligence Leads to Injury
A wrongful death case does not always start as such. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, a careless driver may speed through a stoplight and strike a vehicle, leaving its occupants trapped. Once hospitalized, it is found that the passenger has catastrophic injuries. The passenger may live for months while doctors attempt to improve their living conditions. During this time, an attorney may suggest the family file a personal injury claim through civil court. This allows for the reimbursement of medical expenses. However, if the injured party dies as a result of the accident, then the personal injury claim can become a wrongful death suit.
The People Left To File Suit
In a personal injury case, the party who is injured is the plaintiff. However, when that person dies, this is no longer the case. A wrongful death action may be undertaken by anyone who suffers because of the party’s death. Typically, it is the immediate family of the deceased, such as the spouse, children, parents or siblings. Some jurisdictions allow unwed domestic partners to file wrongful death suits. In cases where uncles, aunts, or cousins file a wrongful death claim, it is because they were dependent on the deceased for a means of living, like income or shelter.
Winning a Wrongful Death Case
The only way to prevail in a wrongful death suit is by proving that the responsible party was negligent and that negligence led to the death. In some circumstances, the plaintiff will need to engage expert witnesses to write a report supporting the theory that the defendant was negligent. Experts are third-party professionals who are either in the same field as the defendant (i.e., a doctor) or have a strong background in some aspect of the event, like an accident reconstruction expert.
The elements that go into a successful wrongful death case may depend on the state where you live. It’s a good idea to seek the counsel of a wrongful death lawyer in Indianapolis, IN to help you sort through the relevant information.
Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and what qualifies for a wrongful death suit.