Experiencing a death in the family is always going to be hard, but it’s even more difficult when you know it could have been prevented. A wrongful death occurs at the hand of a negligent party; it could be a doctor who makes a mistake during surgery or a drunk driver who decides that it’s okay to get behind the wheel. Whatever the case may be, it’s your right to make a claim against these people for your loved one’s death. Most commonly, you’ll be filing a wrongful death claim as a civil case, meaning you’ll be requesting compensation.

When you make your case, you’ll need to prove that the other party was negligent in order to win the compensation you want. You’ll need to prove, for instance, that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Or, if the driver was asleep or texting, that information can help you show that he was being negligent, too.

It may not be as obvious as you’d hope that someone is at fault for your loved one’s wrongful death. For example, if a phone was destroyed in an accident, it could be hard to show that the driver was on it when he or she crashed unless the records are recovered from the phone company. If the driver was asleep, the only way you’ll be able to prove that is if there is a witness or if the person admits the error. Sometimes, the person may be groggy, but because of the risk of concussions in an accident, this won’t necessarily be a sign of sleeping while driving.

Our website has more information about negligence and what you need to do to prove it was the cause of a loved one’s death.