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What is Required to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Posted By Pavich Law Group, P.C. || 19-Nov-2015

The death of a family member or other loved one is never easy to deal with, even when it is from natural causes. When a person is killed by the negligent or wanton acts of another, however, it can be both emotionally and financially devastating.

At Pavich Law Group, our Chicago wrongful death attorneys are proud to pursue justice on behalf of spouses, children, and family members. In this blog, we explore the basics of a wrongful death claim – to learn how we can help in your case, schedule a free consultation today.

Under What Conditions Can a Suit Be Filed?

While each case is highly unique, wrongful death claims can stem from nearly any type of personal injury case. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, bicycle accidents, drowning and swimming pool deaths, and nursing home neglect. However, the most common circumstances leading to a Chicago wrongful death claim are:

  • If the death was the result of medical malpractice
  • If the death occurred in a car accident caused by negligence
  • If the death was intentionally caused, such as murder

It’s worth noting that workplace injuries leading to death are typically not eligible for wrongful death claims, and must instead by handled through the worker’s compensation process. This is not true in all cases, however, so it’s important to consult with a Chicago personal injury lawyer early in the process.

What is the Burden of Proof in Wrongful Death Claims?

Wrongful death claims are very similar to other personal injury claims. In most cases, only the amount of damages will be distinct from a comparable injury suit in which the victim did not die. In order to prove your case, you must prove the following:

  • A duty existed – did the defendant have an obligation to act in a specific manner? In a car accident claim, this will often be their duty to obey street signs and local traffic laws.
  • Breach of duty – once you have established that the defendant had a duty, you must prove that they actually violated it.
  • Causation – you will need to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty actually caused or directly led to the victim’s death.
  • Damages – You must prove that the victim actually suffered recoverable damages. Many people falsely assume that this is a given, as the victim died. This is not always the case – it’s vital to retain a Chicago personal injury attorney who knows how to prove this element.

If someone you love has been killed due the reckless, negligent, or intentional acts of another, call (888) 687-7020 immediately to pursue justice.