Understanding The Burden Of Proof In A Wrongful Death Case

Posted on: 18 November 2014

Losing a loved one can be hard enough without knowing it might have been the result of someone else's negligence. If you decide that you should pursue a wrongful death case after speaking with an attorney, you will accept the fact that it will become partially your responsibility to gather evidence and information to prove that someone is indeed at fault.

This burden of proof must be addressed in a formal fashion even though you may feel that it is quite clear what has happened to cause the death of your loved one:

Medical Evidence

In some cases, medical records and documentation can be enough to prove that negligence was a reason for the death of a loved one. However, obtaining this documentation is not always an easy feat because records can often only be released to either the deceased or a person who is deemed as executor of the estate.

Your wrongful death attorney can sometimes help you get the documentation that is needed if the court finds that this will be mandated evidence in the case. However, in most cases, it will be left to you to gather necessary proof and documentation.

Evidential Differences Between Civil and Wrongful Death Cases

If you have ever been a part of a civil trial or criminal case, you most likely know that there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt before a defendant can be found guilty. Wrongful death cases are different because of a couple of different reasons.

First, many of these cases never make it to trial because medical practitioners and other responsibilities often find that it will be more beneficial to their reputation to settle a claim out of court. However if the case does go before a judge, the burden of proof will not be that which will have to be beyond a reasonable doubt. There is a term that is referred to as margin of liability, which basically means that there must be more proof that there was negligence involved than proof that there was not.

It is easy to feel that there is someone at fault when you lose someone in your life that you love and you may feel that you should be compensated for the loss of life. However, in order to actually prove that someone is responsible during a wrongful death case, there must be a substantial amount of evidence that they are to blame.

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