Elements Needed to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim


According to KTLA June 2017 report, a woman was killed in a chain-reaction car crash. The accident was allegedly caused by a drunk driver. The woman’s vehicle slammed into a San Bernardino County sheriff’s van. At the time, the sheriff’s deputy was transporting several prisoners to a facility and traveling eastbound on Fifth Street. He stopped at the H Street intersection for a red light. The victim was stopped behind the police van.

As they waited for the light to turn green, a 34-year-old driver rear-ended the woman’s car. The impacted sent her car into the back of the van.

According to witnesses, the alleged drunk driver appeared to be speeding when the collision happened. The victim suffered major internal injuries and was not responsive immediately after the crash happened. She was transported to the hospital, where she later died of her injuries. At least one prisoner sustained minor injuries as the result of the crash.

The driver was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. At the time of the report, he had not been charged with DUI.

It is not known if the victim’s family will file a wrongful death claim against the driver. A wrongful death claim is a personal injury lawsuit where a family member seeks money for the untimely death of his or her loved one. Often times, an accident may happen and no one is at fault. However, if an accident happens and a victim dies, the family has the legal right to sue for all accident-related expenses.

Negligence in a San Bernardino Wrongful Death Claim

All personal injury claims start with negligence. An individual or company must do something wrong to cause an accident with injuries. A plaintiff, or family member in a wrongful death claim, has the responsibility of proving that his or her loved one’s untimely death happened because of negligence.

The legal definition of negligence is the failure to do what a reasonable person would do in the same or similar situation. Therefore, a wrongful death plaintiff must show that the defendant did not act as a reasonable person would have in the same or similar circumstance.

The Four Elements Needed in a San Bernardino Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Proving negligence involves establishing four steps, or elements. These elements are:

  1. The defendant had a legal duty to protect the loved one from harm.
  2. The defendant breached the legal duty by causing an accident that killed their loved one. The breach makes the defendant negligent.
  3. The defendant’s negligence was the direct or indirect cause of the loved one’s death
  4. The family is owed money, or damages, because of their loved one’s death. Damages include funeral and burial expenses.

Contact the San Bernardino Attorneys Ready to Fight for You in Your Wrongful Death Claim

Your loved one did not have to die. He or she was killed because of another person’s negligence. If you need help getting the money you deserve, contact the injury attorneys of Sanford A. Kassel, A Professional Law Corporation immediately.

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