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What are the elements of a valid wrongful death claim?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Serious Injuries And Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is a heartbreaking experience, and it can be even more painful when another person’s negligence causes their passing. If you’re in this unfortunate situation, you might be considering filing a wrongful death claim. This legal process can be a way to seek justice for your loved one and ease some financial burdens from the loss.

To help you in this process, here are elements that must be present when filing a wrongful death claim in Texas.

Determining who was negligent

The first step in a claim like this is establishing negligence. This means you must prove that the person responsible failed to act carefully as they should have, leading to the death of your loved one. In other words, you’re showing that their careless or intentional actions directly contributed to the tragic outcome.

Whether it’s a distracted driver who caused a fatal accident or a doctor who made a severe medical error, determining who was at fault is crucial.

Establishing a breach of duty

Next, you need to show that the defendant had a responsibility to care for your loved one. For instance, a manufacturer has to ensure that their products are safe for use. Demonstrating that this duty existed and that the defendant violated it due to their negligent behavior is critical to your claim.

As for the manufacturer, this could mean proving that they were aware of defects in their product but failed to take appropriate action, leading to your loved one’s death.

Proving the causation

Another critical aspect of your claim is causation. Simply showing that the defendant was negligent and that a duty of care existed isn’t enough. You must also prove that their negligence directly led to your loved one’s death.

This often involves enlisting the help of professionals who can connect the defendant’s actions and the fatal outcome.

Calculating the damages

The final step in a wrongful death claim is to calculate the damages you have suffered due to your loved one’s death. These might include medical expenses before the death and other related costs. Accurately calculating these damages is important, as it directly impacts the compensation you may receive. This process can be complex and involves addressing other elements of your claim. To guide you in this process, consider seeking an attorney to help you understand certain complexities and know what to expect when filing the claim.