It’s never easy to deal with the loss of a loved one, but the process becomes even more difficult when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence. Grief is compounded by anger and confusion. Additionally, an untimely death can have far-reaching consequences for your family’s well-being. The deceased may have been the main breadwinner or provided valuable care for other family members. Your economic security may be jeopardized, and the future may look bleak.
Robert E. Cartwright of The Cartwright Law Firm spends much of his professional life helping clients like you. As a skilled wrongful death attorney in California, Mr. Cartwright understands all of the elements that must be proven in this type of litigation. In a free consultation, he’ll listen to your story with sympathy and tact, and he’ll give you an honest, reliable opinion regarding whether or not you have an actionable case.
Proving a wrongful death as the result of someone else’s negligence is rarely easy. The attorney will spend a great deal of time researching the incident, reviewing police reports and interviewing witnesses. This independent investigation is designed to get to the bottom of what actually happened so that the negligence of another party may be determined and quantified.
Wrongful death claims are filed in civil court. Generally, the plaintiff in these cases is a close family member of the deceased. The goal of the lawsuit is to show that the defendant’s negligence led directly to a wrongful death. Doing so requires proving several elements.
Courtroom trials are rarely necessary to prove negligence. Instead, the plaintiff’s attorney proves that the defendant’s negligence was directly responsible for the death long before a court date is scheduled. Broadly speaking, the plaintiff’s attorney must demonstrate that there was a duty of care on the part of the defendant, that the duty was breached and that this breach was the cause of death.
The “duty of care” refers to the defendant’s responsibility toward the plaintiff. If the defendant is a doctor, then that individual should have provided adequate care. If the defendant is the driver of a motor vehicle, then the duty they owed was obeying traffic laws.
Then, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that duty of care. As examples, this means that a doctor made a grievous error during surgery or that a driver failed to stop at a traffic light.
Proving these two elements should support the plaintiff’s case that this breach of the duty of care was the causation of death. The burden is on the plaintiff to show that by a “preponderance of the evidence,” the defendant’s negligence was what caused the death. This is a lower standard of proof than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” but it requires skill to achieve.
Contact our Law Firm today
Robert E. Cartwright and the rest of the team at The Cartwright Law Firm are tireless advocates in wrongful death cases. Their experience in similar matters helps them to provide sensible and compassionate guidance to distraught clients at a difficult time. Contact them for an initial consultation today.
For more information on our San Mateo Wrongful Death Lawyer, please visit our site.