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What Evidence is Needed to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim?

If someone else’s recklessness or negligence results in the death of your loved one, you can pursue a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for financial and emotional damages from the defendant. These reparations will help you cover funeral costs and medical bills, as well as the loss of income your family has endured as a result of your loved one’s passing.

There is a complicated process involved when it comes to pursuing a wrongful death case, and a single misstep could result in you losing the suit and failing to recover damages. The most important step is providing quality evidence to support your claim.

To ensure that you get the most favorable outcome for your case, you’ll need to present indisputable evidence that an experienced wrongful death lawyer can build a strong case out of. Here’s all the evidence you need to prove your claim.

Death Certificate.

A death certificate can be obtained from the Department of Health or the Vital Statistics Office in the area where the death occurred. This document contains information regarding the deceased individual, such as their name, cause of death, date of death, and date of birth.

Police Reports and Autopsy Records.

Any accident that results in an individual getting seriously injured or killed will require an investigation done by police officers. The officers will then file a police report that details the scene of the accident and any evidence found. An autopsy may also be done to ascertain the cause of death.

Witness Accounts.

Whether you were at the scene of the accident or not, you should collect the statements, names, and contact information of the individuals who witnessed the incident. Your lawyer will use this information to conceive a timeline of what exactly occurred during that faithful day in order to strengthen your case.

Physical Evidence.

Man working on the laptop

Any tangible object that helps tell a chronicle of what happened during the fatal event falls under physical evidence. This may include anything from empty beer bottles that prove that the defendant was intoxicated during the time of the incident to soiled clothing and shoe print impressions. Photographs and video footage of the accident are also strong kinds of evidence to use, particularly if they have the date and time stamped on them. You should always request for photographs and videos from CCTV, dashboard cameras, or mobile phones of nearby witnesses.

Financial Statements.

Your lawyer will need you to collect any and all financial statements that serve as proof of the financial burden you and your family have had to shoulder due to the accident. Any medical bills, funeral expenses, utility bills, pay stubs, finance records, and tax returns — all of these will be used to calculate how much you can receive in damages.

Medical Records.

If your loved one was attended to in a hospital before they subsequently passed away from their injuries, you’ll need to obtain the hospitalization records that detail any test results, evaluations, medical prescriptions, and healthcare information. These documents will be used both in the calculation of damages and in proving the cause of death by the defendant’s negligence or recklessness.

You’ll have to do your due diligence when it comes to collecting these pieces of evidence so you can build a strong case with your lawyer. Just keep in mind that the key to a successful wrongful death claim is the quality of the evidence presented, more so than the quantity.

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