The Types Of Evidence That Can Be Useful In A Wrongful Death Case

Published on: November 23, 2022

Last Updated on: June 8, 2024

Wrongful Death

toc impalement

A loved one’s death might be terrible, but it is even more difficult to deal with if it is unjust. However, you must provide proof to support your claim to establish wrongful death and get solace.

The burden of proof is significantly lower because civil courts handle wrongful death cases rather than criminal courts. However, you still need the right evidence to support the basic elements needed for your lawsuit to succeed.

Understanding the importance of legal help is quite significant when fighting a legal battle in a case of wrongful death. The legal system can be very complex because different places have different laws.

In the United States, even two neighboring states might differ on the types of evidence, so you must contact an attorney specializing in the laws of the state where the accident occurred. Many compassionate wrongful death lawyers can help you protect your legal rights if your accident occurs in North Carolina.

If you want justice for a loved one who died due to someone else’s negligence, you should consult a wrongful death lawyer in North Carolina who can advise you on the best course of action.

The attorneys will do all their power to ensure that your family is appropriately paid for your losses, even though they regretfully cannot bring your loved one back. Payment shall consist of any ultimate jury award or settlement amount. It is also helpful to get information from any witnesses to the incident.

Wrongful Death: What Is It?

Workplace accidents

When someone dies due to someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing, it is called a wrongful death. Workplace accidents, violence, and medical malpractice are also some of the causes of wrongful deaths.

Even if the accused was found not guilty of a crime, survivors of the deceased might still file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages; however, many civil lawsuits come after criminal ones. Various conditions must be met for a death to be considered wrongful.

These include the death of an individual, the death brought on by someone else’s carelessness or malicious intent, or the survival of members of the family who are financially harmed by that death.

State law governs who can be chosen as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate (frequently the executor named in the will). Only the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in some states.

Others enable any relative to file as long as they can demonstrate that the dead provided them with direct financial support. Speaking with a wrongful death attorney can help you understand who will be the personal representative in your case. They are trained and have the legal knowledge to set up a string case for you; go here to learn more. Please keep in mind that not all deaths—even those that are unintentional—are wrongful deaths.

Burden Of Proof

Wrongful death is a civil claim, not a criminal one. Compared to a criminal proceeding, there is less of a burden of proof. Without following the criteria established for a criminal prosecution, where the defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the court evaluates the relevance of the evidence offered to establish wrongful death.

There are various proofs required to support your wrongful death lawsuit. These include creating a plan for your case, investigating your claims completely, conversing with professionals and witnesses, and investigating tort law.

Demands, mediations, and the settlement of your claim are all part of the procedure. A lawsuit may be filed, and the matter will go to trial if the parties cannot agree.

Developing A Case For Wrongful Death

State-by-state variations exist in the factors needed to establish wrongful death, although a few are common nationwide. You must typically demonstrate a violation of a duty of care, carelessness, causation, and damages in wrongful death proceedings.

First, the defendant must demonstrate responsibility to the deceased. For instance, all drivers are responsible for driving safely and following the law. For example, a doctor is responsible to their patient to maintain their health and prevent damage.

A defendant who violates a duty of care is said to have disregarded that obligation in some way, such as by running a red light or performing surgery incorrectly. Negligence is the legal term for conduct that was careless, reckless, or negligent in some way, resulting in death.

You must prove the existence of the duty of care and the defendant’s negligent actions that violated it. To establish causality, one must demonstrate how the defendant’s carelessness directly contributed to the victim’s death. For instance, a motorist running a red light could not be directly blamed for the death of the decedent’s brakes failed.

Last but not least, the victim’s passing must result in tangible losses such as hospital stays and healthcare costs, costs of burial and cremation, loss of income or profits potential, sorrow and pain before death, and loss of direction, protection, or inheritance.

Even though wrongful death claims have a lesser standard of proof, you still need to compile a lot of evidence to support them and win a settlement. The preponderance of the evidence, which the judge uses to make decisions, refers to the quality and reliability of the evidence rather than its number.

Required Evidence Types

You will require several records, papers, and reports to support your wrongful death claim. Several important records and reports must be included. First, you will need a death record of the deceased, which must be written very thoroughly.

This record is required because it will shed light on the manner in which the deceased was killed in an accident. Then, you will need the police report, which is quite significant, as well, as it provides a detailed overview of the situation.

Other documents include notated medical documents, test results, consultation notes, assessments, prescriptions, or any supporting material, a copy of the autopsy report if you think that medical error was to blame for the death, evidence that the dead and the negligent party had a duty of care connection, financial statements and tax returns, family history, physical proof, such as stained clothing, videos or pictures, observer accounts. In addition, financial data attest to the deceased’s level of assistance.

Categories Of Proof Required To Bring A Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful Death Proof

In order to secure justice for you and your family, your wrongful death attorney will require specific proof.

In wrongful death cases, the court will look for the following broad categories of evidence:

1. Documentation of Death

Death certificates are official records that reflect the coroner’s determining cause of death. In addition, the death certificate will include any fatal injuries that resulted from a slip and fall.

2. Detective Reports

The police reports are required if your loved one’s wrongful death resulted from an accident or another situation that required calling the police. Whenever feasible, make sure to get copies of any police reports related to an accident or inquiry.

3. Health Records

Medical records may include information about certain wrongful death reasons. All prescriptions would be included as a part of the medical records if, for instance, your loved one passed away due to receiving the incorrect medication in a hospital.

Medical records can also be used to check whether any entries were altered, erased, or updated after the fact. A copy of the medical records can demonstrate that the information was altered, deleted, or fabricated later.

Because it contains the findings of a thorough physical and toxicological examination, an autopsy report is the only method to demonstrate malpractice resulting from a medical mistake.

The same responsibility of care applies to manufacturers as it does to doctors or everyday drivers. Suppose a product flaw caused the loved one to pass away. In that situation, the producer may be liable due to a duty of care to produce safe products.

4. Inquest Reports

You must ask for a thorough autopsy if you think medical errors contributed to your loved one’s unjust death. Only this can reveal whether a medical mistake was to blame.

For instance, a careful study of the body might reveal surgical mistakes. A toxicology report will prove if the medicine, regardless of type or dosage, was the cause of the death.

5. Evidence of a Duty of Care Between a Negligent Entity and the Deceased

It must be proven that your loved one and the negligent party had a connection in which the latter owed your loved one a duty of care in order to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

A doctor’s duty of care requires them to always act in the patient’s best interest. All citizens must drive safely; if they don’t, they have broken that duty. Other times, it could be trickier to prove a duty of care.

For example, the other automobile manufacturer may be responsible if it had a flaw that prevented it from braking effectively when your loved one’s car was struck by it. Manufacturers must follow safe manufacturing and product recall procedures.

6. Financial Records and Tax Returns

Financial damages in a wrongful death case in California may include loss of financial assistance and loss of the value of household services. The easiest method for your attorney to calculate this loss is through tax returns and other financial documents.

However, the court will be able to evaluate the financial loss using other financial documents, such as pay stubs. Additionally, if the dead individual manages all of the investments, records of the investments and their returns are required.

7. Family History

Part of why documentation is essential in a wrongful death lawsuit is so that possible damages may be calculated. For medical costs associated with the terminal sickness or condition, loss of companionship and consortium for spouses, loss of education and direction for children, and loss of funeral and burial costs, one may be awarded damages by the court in North Carolina.

Therefore, you should gather all relevant documents and give them to your lawyer. A marriage certificate should be included in the paperwork since the length of the marriage might affect the loss of companionship and consortium.

Family records might demonstrate the loss of consortium and companionship, children’s upbringing and direction, and funerals’ cost. Particularly strong proof includes pictures and videos. Ensure that each file has a date and time stamp. Witness statements with names and contact information are also important.


There must be some form of proof against the individual who killed your loved one in order to have a successful wrongful death claim in North Carolina.

For instance, did the motorist who struck your loved one recently leave a bar? Some situations won’t be as easy to prove, and you’ll need to find proof to show who’s at fault.

Due to the fact that wrongful death attorneys are familiar with the necessary evidence and how to obtain it, families who have lost loved ones due to another person’s carelessness frequently turn to them.

To demonstrate liability, lawyers can examine medical and police reports, speak with witnesses, and evaluate witness statements. Expert witnesses might help a wrongful death lawyer in North Carolina make a stronger argument.

The appropriate specialists in a trial can discuss the effects of the loss on the surviving family members. In these situations, lawyers hire economists to assess the financial loss of a loved one, taking into account missed wages, increases, promotions, inflation, benefits, and retirement.

The genuine worth of the case can be determined with the aid of an economic specialist. The legal team will use facts and specialists to your benefit whenever it is suitable in your case to ensure you have a solid case.

While the attorneys regrettably cannot bring back your loved one, the wrongful death attorneys will do their best to ensure that your family is fairly compensated for your losses.

You should call law firms or email them right away to learn more about your family’s legal options if you lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness. If you require a lawyer for wrongful death, you must contact a law firm.

Consult a lawyer immediately if you believe your loved one’s death was caused by unlawful conduct. After the unimaginable occurs, sympathetic North Carolina wrongful death attorneys can assist in defending your legal rights.

Without charging you anything, they will evaluate your case. Any final jury award or settlement sum will serve as payment.

Read Also:


Arnab Dey

Arnab is a passionate blogger. He shares sentient blogs on topics like current affairs, business, lifestyle, health, etc. To get more of his contributions, follow Smart Business Daily.

Related Articles