The death of a loved one can be such a sudden and overwhelming event that it can be hard to know what to do, especially if there was negligence or malfeasance that led to the death. However, it’s important that you take action to ensure that the deceased and the people they left behind get the justice they deserve. To that end, here’s some advice from a wrongful death lawyer on gathering evidence to support your wrongful death case.
Ask a Wrongful Death Lawyer: What Evidence Do You Need for a Strong Case?
While it may seem basic enough that it might be overlooked, a death certificate is crucial evidence in proving your wrongful death case. In particular, clear documentation of the cause of death will be useful information to provide for your case. Contact the relevant government or health authorities to obtain a copy of the death certificate that you can use in your case in order to establish the exact cause of the wrongful death.
Medical records can provide further documentation that shows the court the cause of death and other relevant medical details. This will help to establish the condition of the victim leading up to the incident and what role exactly the incident in question played in their death. These records are useful in all sorts of cases but can be especially beneficial in cases where medical malpractice was suspected to have a role in the death of the victim.
In an ideal scenario, the authorities would have been quickly brought to the scene where a wrongful death occurred. This allows them to establish a trustworthy, objective record of what occurred. If a detailed police report regarding the death of your loved one was filed, you should obtain this evidence to build your case with wrongful death attorneys in Houston. Police reports can add an authoritative backing to your side of the story that can make the difference in court.
Other people backing up your story when it comes to how the incident surrounding a wrongful death occurred can go a long way toward making your case more convincing. You should start searching for witnesses immediately after the incident occurs so that they can provide testimony while what happened is fresh in their memory. If possible, try to get multiple witnesses to testify so that your version of events has the strongest backing possible.
Photographic or Video Evidence
While witness testimony can be very compelling in proving your case, photographic or video evidence can provide even more undeniable evidence that can’t be refuted as easily as witness testimony. Photographs or videos taken of the incident or its aftermath can be used to show the court in no uncertain terms what occurred in the incident. If possible, try to capture photos and videos of the incident from multiple angles to provide a more comprehensive view of what happened.
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Another strong source of evidence will be any physical evidence that could be retrieved from the scene where the death occurred. This can take any number of different forms depending on the incident in question and the cause of death. One example of this type of evidence would be clothes left damaged or bloody from the incident that led to the wrongful death, as this provides a vivid image to the court of the harm that the person suffered.
Records Establishing Duty of Care
One concept that is important to successfully proving a wrongful death case is something called duty of care. This means proving that the party you’re accusing of being involved in your loved one’s wrongful death had a reasonable expectation to be responsible for the other party’s well-being. The exact nature of these records varies from case to case but usually will involve some record of an agreement between the deceased and the party responsible.
Tax Returns or Pay Stubs
In addition to proving who was at fault for the wrongful death that occurred, you’ll also want to be able to prove the financial impact that losing the person caused. Showing the income that was missed out on as a result of the wrongful death can be useful in determining the financial compensation you or your loved ones are due. Keeping up-to-date financial records in preparation for unexpected events such as these is a great asset.
There’s no need to face the challenges that come with getting justice for your deceased loved one alone. Having the help of a skilled attorney who is experienced with wrongful death cases will be a great asset for you to have on your side. The sooner you get the process started, the better chance you’ll have of getting a favorable outcome and the justice that you and your loved one deserve.