Proving Fault in a Wrongful Death Claim: What Do You Need?

If your loved one died from the negligence of another person, you may need to file a wrongful death claim. However, the damages compensated in this claim may be different from the normal negligence cases. You will need to prove fault. That means you have to prove that the third party had a duty of care, they breached this duty, and damages happened due to this breach. It is crucial to hire a Miami personal injury lawyer when proving fault in a wrongful death claim to ensure you are following the process and you meet the following elements.

Proof of Duty

For you to hold a third party liable for the death, you must prove that the defendant had a duty of care. One thing you need to know is that duty of care varies depending on the case. Therefore, the deceased must have been under the care of the person at fault. For instance, if a baby drowned in a pool, you will need to prove that someone was left to watch the baby. The judge will decide if the person being sued had a duty to care for the decedent. The judge will also evaluate how close the acts of the third party caused the death.

Proof of Breach of Duty

The second part of proving fault in a wrongful death claim is proving that there was a breach of duty of care. In other words, you must provide evidence that the defendant breached their duty of care, leading to death. From the example above, you will need to prove that the person left to look after the baby was not attentive. For instance, you may prove that they were watching TV at the moment the baby drowned in the pool.

Proof of Causation

The next step to proving fault is providing evidence that this breach of duty caused the accident. From the example, you will need to prove that it is because the person caring for the baby was not attentive and did not notice when the baby walked to the pool. If there is a fence around the pool, you will need evidence that the gate was not closed and the baby drowned. The evidence must show that the person’s negligence caused the accident that killed the decedent.

Proof of Damages

Proving damages in a wrongful death claim is obvious- the person died. However, you must have passed the breach of duty and causation stage in order to prove damages. In other cases, it is possible to lose the claim if the victim was not hurt or did not suffer serious injuries. However, in this type of claim, the damage is obvious, and it is possible to measure the extent of the damage.


These are the elements you need in a wrongful death claim to prove fault. You must prove the negligence of the third party by showing they had the duty to take care of the decedent. You must also prove they breached their duty, and the negligence caused death. It will be obvious to prove the damages. In this case, we advise you to hire our personal injury lawyer to help collect the evidence and prove fault.