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What are the four main elements of a wrongful death lawsuit?

Losing a beloved family member due to the negligence of another human being is a great tragedy and, unfortunately, many Bristol, Connecticut families have had to deal with this type of situation in their lives. Not having that person around is emotionally devastating and it may also be financially crippling as well, especially if the deceased was the primary income provider for that family. In situations like this, the devastated family may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent individual in order to seek justice as well as financial compensation.

A wrongful death lawsuit is usually not filed until any potential criminal trial against the negligent party has been completed. This is because both trials will usually present the same evidence. It is also important to remember that in a wrongful death trial a lower standard of proof is required for conviction than in a criminal trial. But, before a wrongful death lawsuit can move forward, there are four primary components that must be satisfied.

The first element that must be present during a wrongful death lawsuit is that someone must have died. This seems obvious of course, but without the death of an individual, this type of trial could not possibly take place.

The second important part of a wrongful death lawsuit is that the person's death must have been caused either by the defendant's negligence or by the defendant's purposeful intent to cause injury to the victim. Introducing this element serves to clarify the intentions of the defendant during the trial.

The final two components of a wrongful death lawsuit include establishing the financial problems of the victim's family that have been brought about by the victim's death, and the appointment of an agent on behalf of the victim's estate. By making sure that these four elements are integral components of a wrongful death lawsuit, a victim's family and their legal representative can be reasonably sure that their legal action will move forward in court.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Wrongful death overview," April 13, 2015

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