Tragic accidents that claim lives mean that family members are left behind to pick up the pieces. For the family members who have to do that, there is sometimes a question of how things will be paid. One option that some people have is to file a wrongful death lawsuit that holds the person who caused the tragic accident liable for the death of the person who was killed.

In order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be valid, there have to be specific elements present. Family members who are left behind have to be financially impacted by the person’s death. There has to be a personal representative over the deceased person’s estate. The decedent has to be a human. The tragic accident had to have been caused by someone’s intention to harm or someone’s negligence.

When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits, you have less of a burden to prove what happened than what is present in criminal justice cases. In the criminal justice system, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. In the civil courts, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant is responsible through a preponderance of the evidence.

If you have a wrongful death lawsuit, you should make sure that you fully understand each type of damage you can seek. You might be surprised at some of the options that you have. Getting answers to your questions as you are getting the claim ready to file can help you ensure that you have all your ducks in a row and are ready to go.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death Overview,” accessed Sep. 02, 2016