What are your chances of winning a wrongful death suit? When we typically think of chances of winning, we might envision Las Vegas and blackjack table odds. But if you’ve lost a loved one due to wrongful death, the reality is that gambling on outcomes is probably the furthest thing from you mind.
When you lose someone close to you due to wrongful death, it’s natural to experience feelings of being lost, vulnerable, frustrated, or angry. If this is what you’re dealing with, remember that your feelings are normal and you’re not alone. Thousands of wrongful death claims occur each year throughout the United States.
After a family member dies as the result of somebody else’s negligence, it’s common to feel like you don’t know what to do or where to turn next. Whom should you seek guidance from? What questions should you ask? These are common questions.
If you’re truly wondering about the chances of winning a wrongful death suit, it might be best to reframe the question slightly. What you really want to know is: Do I really have a claim and it is worth pursuing?
Remember, no two wrongful death cases are exactly the same. Your case will need to be considered on its own unique circumstances and merits.
Do You Have a Case? Understanding the Four Elements of Wrongful Death Claims
There are four elements — or requirements — for every wrongful death claim:
- Duty: Was there an obligation for someone to act reasonable person would?
- Breach: Did someone violate their duty to use reasonable care?
- Causation: Did someone’s breach of duty trigger injury or damages?
- Damages: Did these actions lead to property damage, bodily damages, or pain and suffering?
Together, these four questions represent fancy lawyer talk for determining whether the defendant acted unreasonably and their actions led to the death of a family member. Another way of asking these questions is this: Did someone do something wrong, and did their actions cause your family member to die?
An example of wrongful death case would be someone running a red light and killing another driver. The red-light runner violated a duty to operate a car with reasonable care. Reckless driving directly led to the death of another person.
Is Your Wrongful Death Case Worth Pursuing?
To better understand whether your case is worth pursuing, it would be helpful to visit with an attorney who has experience dealing with wrongful death claims. I am not suggesting that you hire that attorney, or that you must hire any attorney. At the very least, I’d simply like to emphasize that the process of exploring answers is complicated. You need to understand your options before deciding what path to take with your case.
Yet, buyer beware: Any attorney who won’t talk to you for free without you first signing a representation agreement is not a good attorney. What’s more, you should never feel bullied or pressured into hiring an attorney. The attorney-client relationship is very intimate. Dealing with a wrongful death claim can be a very sensitive matter. You should feel comfortable with the attorney or law firm you hire.
Lastly, you should aware that there are deadlines — so-called “statutes of limitations” — that have to be met by law to bring your wrongful death claim. If you fail to meet those deadlines, you lose the right to your claim all together. Don’t wait to discuss your individual situation with an attorney. The sooner you reach out to an attorney, the more time you have to decide upon what to do next.
Questions? Call Negretti & Associates
If you have experienced a wrongful death of a family member in California, Arizona, or Colorado, feel free to reach out to Negretti & Associates with your questions. We can help you investigate whether you really have a claim and whether it is worth pursuing. For a free consultation, call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.