The death of a loved one can be difficult to handle emotionally as well as financially. But, when a person’s death was caused by the negligence of another person, it can be especially difficult to accept. Wrongful death lawsuits are intended to bring the at-fault party to justice in the form of fair compensation.
“I am passionate about wrongful death cases,” said Thomas D. Bumgardner, Charlotte-based wrongful death lawyer. “These cases are particularly important to me because often times children are left without a parent, a husband has lost his wife or a mother has lost their child. I take pride in knowing that with each successful wrongful death case, I am doing my part in helping a family find justice.”
What is a Wrongful Death Case?
In most cases, these suits would otherwise be filed as a personal injury case had the event not resulted in the victim’s death. This means the victim would still be alive if not for the negligent acts of the defendant.
These cases differ from criminal charges, which may be filled separately by the state. For example, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty in the criminal trial regarding the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. In addition, Simpson was sued by the victims families for monetary damages in a separate wrongful death civll suit.
What Must Be Proved in a Wrongful Death Case?
Damages will only be awarded to the plaintiff if they can prove that the defendant was negligent and their actions were the cause of the person’s death. The following must be present in the plaintiff’s case in order to win a wrongful death suit:
Duty of Care – It must be proven that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased person. In more simple terms, a defendant is expected to be careful or obey laws while performing an act that could foreseeably harm others. For example, a company that makes ladders has the duty of care to it’s users to ensure their ladders are built correctly and are not malfunctioning.
Breach of Duty of Care – Breach of care shows evidence of the defendant actually being negligent. Continuing the example, it must be proven that the ladder manufactured by this company had a structural flaw that caused it to work improperly.
Causation – It must be shown that the defendant’s negligence was the actual cause of the victim’s death. If the ladder’s malfunction caused a person to fall to their death, the defendant’s negligent acts render them guilty in this situation. If the victim fell because the ladder was set up incorrectly and instructions were not followed, the defendant is not liable.
Consult With Your Wrongful Death Lawyer
“Wrongful death suits can be complicated and difficult to prove,” said Bumgardner. “The right legal guidance could make all of the difference when it comes time for the court to make a decision.”
Thomas D. Bumgardner is an experienced wrongful death lawyer whose goal is to find justice and peace for his clients. Discuss your case for free. Simply call 704.887.4981 to schedule your consultation.