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What elements must be proved in a wrongful death suit?

The loss of a loved one is a difficult event to endure. It is even more challenging for individuals in Louisiana and elsewhere when a loved one is suddenly taken away from them due to the negligence of another. No one can ever predict when and if a fatal accident will occur. Even more so, surviving family members are never fully prepared to deal with the aftermath. Therefore, it is important to understand what recourses are available and how to pursue a legal action for the wrongful death of a loved one.

What elements must be proved in a wrongful death suit? When a a loved one dies due to the negligence of another, surviving family members are able to sue a negligent party for the wrongful death of their loved one. In order to succeed in this action, four elements must exist.

First, there must be a death of a person. Next, the death must have been caused by the negligence of another or resulted from another party's intent to cause harm. Third, the surviving family members must have suffered monetary losses due to the death of the deceased. Finally, there must be an appointment of a personal representative for the decedent's estate.

There are many incidents that could give rise to a wrongful death suit. Whether it is due to fatal medical errors, a car accident, fatal work accident or death due to criminal behavior, surviving family member could collect evidence to help prove liability in a wrongful death suit.

A surviving family member could collect various damages depending on the harm caused by the fatal incident. One could collect pecuniary losses for the lost of companionship and wages. Additionally, a family member could seek punitive damages in matters where there were serious or malicious wrongdoings.

While nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one, it is possible to collect compensation to make up for the losses and damages caused by the tragic incident. An experienced attorney could help surviving family members understand their rights and help them navigate their actions.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Wrongful Death Overview," accessed Jan. 1, 2017

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