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The Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

While in the middle of the grieving process, it can be equally difficult to navigate the legal system.

Losing a loved one through a catastrophic accident or due to medical malpractice is a difficult and painful situation. In the middle of the grieving process, it can be equally difficult to navigate the legal system to seek justice and compensation for your loss. Here are a few things you need to know about preparing for a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Plaintiff

The first step you should take is to determine who will represent your deceased loved one against the defendant responsible for their death. It is important to know as soon as possible who will be claiming the damages as a result of this lawsuit. In most cases, the plaintiff would be your loved one’s next of kin or immediate family member. The only exception would be if the deceased named a primary beneficiary in their will.

Type of Case

One thing your lawyer should clarify is that you will need to file a civil lawsuit and not a criminal one for your wrongful death case. You should not press murder charges for a case where negligence, rather than intentionality cause the death of your loved one. Additionally, criminal cases do not provide compensation to the surviving relatives of the victim.


What makes wrongful death cases difficult to win is that you, as the plaintiff, are tasked with the burden of proof. This is a term meaning that you must prove the defendant is directly responsible for the wrongful death by providing information on the duty of care, breach of care, and causation. Duty of care establishes what care was expected of the defendant, such as traffic laws in a car accident case. For breach of care, you must show how the defendant violated their duty of care, by speeding or running a red light, for example. Lastly, causation is the trickiest part, because you must show a direct link between the defendant’s breach of care and your loved one’s wrongful death. If your loved one had contributory negligence in a car accident that took their life, then it might be more difficult to prove causation.

Has Your Loved One Suffered a Wrongful Death? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today!

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website,, for more information and follow us on Facebook,Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Call 410-THE-FIRM. Don't just sue them. SNYDER THEM

This entry was posted on Monday, March 11th, 2019 at 1:51 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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