When a loved one gets injured and that injury results in death, it can hit you hard and result in much heartache and mourning. When the death was caused by another person or businesses' negligence, however, you may actually be entitled to monetary damages. Not everyone is able to get benefits, only those who can show that they were financially dependent on the deceased may qualify. For there to be any compensation, however, you must be able to prove that there was really some negligence present. Read on to learn more:

The Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

While it may not be necessary for you to have a law degree to understand these types of claims, having a bit of general background information could help you to better cope with this issue during such a stressful time. An attorney may not even be willing to take your case if the elements of a good case are missing. To prove negligence, which is necessary for you to win your claim, your case needs four elements:

1. The death of a person.

2. Negligence or intent has caused the death of that person.

3. There are family members who are experiencing a financial loss due to the death of their loved one.

4. A personal representative (or executor) that has been appointed to oversee the estate of the deceased.

Number Two

Of the four elements, only number 2 needs an explanation and can be more challenging to show. To show that negligence or intent caused the death, proof is required. There are two kinds of cause, and one or the other must be proven.

Actual cause: Also known as "cause in fact", this represents the most direct link between a negligence or intent and the death. Simply put, the actions of a person (or business) can be shown to have caused the death. For example, the driver of a truck that hits and kills a pedestrian in a crosswalk is the direct cause of that death. In some cases, the company the driver works for is liable for that death.

Proximate cause: The link in proximate causes is a bit less direct, but exists nevertheless. For example, take the above example of the truck driver. Suppose he tried to brake but the brakes failed. The brake manufacturer may be the proximate cause of the death since the accident and the resulting death would not have occurred "but for" the bad brakes (proximate cause cases are also known as "but for" cases).

If you have been deprived of a loved one's financial contribution, you may have cause for suing for wrongful death. For more information about attorneys, have a peek at this web-site.