Losing one of your loved ones is incredibly difficult. Knowing that the death was preventable is even more devastating.
When someone dies due to another’s negligence or wrongful action, a personal representative of the estate may file a claim in civil court. As with any legal matter, certain evidence helps the plaintiff to build a case.
Death certificates and autopsy reports
One of the most critical pieces of evidence is a copy of the death certificate. Additionally, if medical staff conducted an autopsy, you can seek to obtain the report. This record provides information about what led to the person’s death and can help determine whether the fatality was wrongful.
Medical records and witness statements
Another form of valuable evidence is medical records from facilities where your loved one received care before death. These files should include any treatments or medications the facility provided, as well as notes from conversations between the patient and the health care provider about the illness or injury that resulted in death.
Witness statements from anyone who saw or spoke with your loved one can also help. If photos or videos support the claim, those can also serve as evidence.
Tax returns and paystubs
Depending on who is filing the claim and the damages you seek, the court may also require additional documents as proof of income to assess how much compensation to award. These documents can provide financial details about earnings and other factors related to lost wages.
Trying to gather the necessary details after a loved one’s death can be challenging as the experience can force you to relive painful memories. However, your hard work to establish the facts may eventually prove restorative.