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What needs to be proved in a wrongful death claim?

The death of a family member can be a sad time for the other surviving family members, but when the death was caused by some unforeseen tragedy and the family member who died was relatively young, the whole situation can be heartbreaking. Car accidents, for example, take the lives of thousands of young people in Indiana and throughout the country each year. When the death of a family member was due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, a wrongful death claim may be possible, which is intended to recover compensation to help the surviving family members cope with the financial impact of the sudden loss.

What needs to be proved in a wrongful death claim? Well, for starters, there must be a death - that much is obvious and is a fairly simple element of such a claim to prove. From there, the most important element of the claim must be proved: that the death was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party. This often comes with a "but for" approach, as in proving that the death in question would not have occurred "but for" the conduct of the other party.

If that crucial element of the case is proved, from there the surviving family members must be able to prove and demonstrate the financial impact on their lives due to the death of the loved one. This oftentimes involves showing the income and retirement benefits that the deceased loved one would have earned if a full life had been lived.

Proving wrongful death claims can be quite complex. Defendants will fight these claims and the potential financial findings fiercely, as the financial award of a judge or jury can be quite substantial in many cases. Those in Indiana who believe they may have a valid wrongful death claim may benefit from getting more information about their own unique situation.

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