Wrongful death claims provide a crucial source of rights for grieving family members following a death. If successful, you can obtain compensation from the person or entity responsible for a loved one’s passing. However, many family members are confused about what evidence they need. In their grief, they fear they can’t bring a legal claim because they don’t have the time or motivation to investigate the death.
Generally, you must show the defendant was at fault for the death. The evidence you use will depend on the circumstances surrounding the death and the accident. Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys review some important categories of evidence. Contact us so we can get started investigating your loved one’s death.
Eyewitnesses usually play a central role in wrongful death cases. Someone might have seen the accident which seriously injured your loved one. For example, in a car accident, witnesses could have seen a motorist run a red light, pass illegally, or tailgate. Based on their testimony, we can establish who caused the crash.
Witnesses are particularly important because the most relevant witness—your loved one—has now died. For this reason, wrongful death claims can be somewhat tricky to bring because the only witness might be the defendant. If so, we might rely more heavily on different evidence.
Certain physical evidence can establish a connection between the defendant and your loved one:
By itself, physical evidence might not establish that a death was wrongful. Someone’s fingerprints could be all over your loved one’s apartment because they were good friends. But this evidence often helps show the defendant could have been the person to cause the death.
A key point of every wrongful death lawsuit is showing why your loved one died. If he got into a car accident but died of a heart attack three weeks later, then it’s hard to claim a connection between the wreck and his death. Medical records help establish causation and the severity of your loved one’s injuries in the accident.
Some accidents are caught on video. For example, many gas stations and convenience stores have a video running at all hours of the day and night. These cameras record accidents and attacks which take place near the property.
Not all wrongful deaths are criminal in nature—but some are. If a drunk driver struck your loved one crossing the intersection, then this action is both a crime and a wrongful death. We can sometimes use criminal records as part of our case.
Expert Witness Testimony
At Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys, we often use expert witnesses in wrongful death cases. These experts can establish certain facts, like whether a product that injured your loved one was defective. Other experts help show how much money your loved one would have made had he or she lived, which establishes the monetary value of your legal claim.
We Can Meet to Discuss the Tragic Death of a Family Member
Our legal team has tackled many wrongful death cases in Atlanta. We provide compassionate legal advice in a safe environment. Call us today to find out more at (404) 529-3476.