Defenses You May Have To Surmount When Pursuing A Wrongful Death Claim


A wrongful death claim can yield a huge settlement, which is why defendants put up spirited fights in these cases. For example, the defendant can claim that:

They Did Not Cause the Death

For you to win a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that the defendant's actions were the actual cause of your loved one's demise. Consider an example in which your spouse breaks their leg after being knocked down by an SUV. If, in a subsequent accident, your spouse dies because they are not able to get out of the way fast enough to avoid an out-of-control sedan, you cannot accuse the owner of the SUV of wrongful death. This is because the SUV's driver did not actually cause your loved one's death. However, you may be able to prefer wrongful death charges against the driver of the sedan.

The Deceased Was Involved In an Unlawful Act

A wrongful death claim cannot arise out of an accident that occurs when the deceased is committing a crime. Therefore, the defendant may be able to block your wrongful death claims if they can prove that your loved one was burglarizing their home or trespassing on their premises during the fateful accident.

The Deceased's Actions Contributed to Their Death

Depending on your state's laws, you may also be barred from pursuing a wrongful death claim if your loved one's actions contributed to their death. This rule applies in states that use contributory negligence laws. A good example is a motorcycle rider who incurs a fatal head injury while riding without a helmet in a state that has mandatory helmet laws. In this case, if the defendant can prove that the deceased wouldn't have died if they had been wearing a helmet, then they may be able to bar your wrongful death claims using contributory negligence laws.

The Deceased Assumed the Risk of the Dangerous Act That Caused Their Demise

This defense arises in cases where the deceased voluntarily engaged in a dangerous act that they knew or should have known was dangerous. For example, horse racing is dangerous and anybody who engages in it should be aware of this danger. Therefore, if your loved one was a horse rider who incurred their fatal injury after falling from a horse, then it will be difficult for you to lodge a wrongful death claim based on the accident. In such a case, a wrongful death claim is only viable if you can prove that the race organizers (or any other party) intentionally caused the accident. 

Contact a legal firm, like Richard Glazer Law Office, for more help.


10 November 2017

Talking About Car Accident Cases

Hello everyone, my name is Nina Zoulon. On this site, I am going to share information about hiring a personal injury attorney. I will also talk about my journey to procuring those services for myself. When I was a beginning driver, I was on the road constantly. During one of those excursions, a driver going the opposite direction crossed the centerline and plowed straight into my vehicle. I was trapped by the dashboard for hours while firefighters helped me escape. After the accident, the other driver tried to blame my inexperience on the accident. I hired a lawyer to help me fight the case and I won. I would like to discuss personal injury attorney services in more detail to help other people win their cases in court. Thanks.