If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another, it’s important that you seek immediate legal representation to file a wrongful death claim against the party responsible. There are many types of wrongful death claims, and the evidence needed to prove negligence can vary depending on the cause of death. This article explains how much proof is needed to win a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma.
When a person or entity negligently or intentionally causes the death of another person, the party that caused the death may be held liable under a wrongful death claim for losses that result from the death. The primary types of wrongful death claims involve:
- Automobile accidents (driver negligence);
- Medical negligence;
- Workplace negligence; and
- Product-related negligence.
All wrongful death claims basically piggyback off of another cause of action. For instance, if a loved one dies in a work-related accident, the family may bring a wrongful death claim in conjunction with a claim against the employer, who will be seeking recovery under the employer’s insurance policy. Another example is when the deceased has passed away due to some accident caused by a defective product. In that scenario, the wrongful death cause of action will be in addition to a product liability lawsuit.
How Much Proof Do You Need?
In each wrongful death case, evidence is needed to establish negligence and prove your theory of liability, so that the defendant may be held responsible for the losses you have incurred. Moreover, evidence will be needed to support your damages, so that you may receive the maximum amount of compensation available.
A wrongful death case and a criminal prosecution for the same death differ in that in the wrongful death case, the plaintiff must prove by “a preponderance of evidence”—more likely than not—that the defendant is liable for the decedent’s death. On the other hand, the prosecution in a criminal homicide case must prove that the defendant is guilty of the charges against him or her “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which requires a much higher burden of proof than in civil cases. Thus, it is often the case that a defendant has been found civilly liable for the death of another, but not guilty of the homicide charge in the criminal case against him or her. The varying burdens of proof explain why a defendant may be civilly liable for wrongful death, but not guilty of criminal liability.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Personal Injury Attorney
If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important that you contact an experienced Oklahoma City Wrongful Death Attorney as soon as possible to begin to gather evidence and testimony to build your the wrongful death claim against the party responsible. Call Personal Injury Law Office of Oklahoma City for a free, no-risk consultation with a knowledgeable Oklahoma City personal injury attorney, call today: (405) 716-4878 (716-HURT).
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