What Elements Need to be Proven in a Wrongful Death Case?

What Elements Need to be Proven in a Wrongful Death Case?

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Filing a wrongful death claim can be overwhelming, especially on top of the grief the surviving family feels after their loved one’s passing. For someone to be found guilty in a wrongful death case, the deceased’s surviving family needs to show the burden of proof assigned to a wrongful death.

Clients coming forward with a wrongful death lawsuit or claim are experiencing some of the most challenging and painful moments of their lives. At Mintz Law Firm, we prioritize our client’s needs and will take on the task of proving their loved one’s death is the result of someone else’s negligence so they have the time, space, and resources to focus on what matters most. Feel confident that your legal team is committed to you and your family, and contact Mintz Law Firm today.

The Burden of Proof in a Wrongful Death Case

It’s important to understand that a wrongful death lawsuit is different from a criminal case. While a criminal case is pursued through the criminal justice system, a wrongful death case goes through civil court. Therefore, showing the burden of proof is often not as strict as it is in a criminal proceeding.

In a criminal proceeding, the evidence needed would have to show that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, in a wrongful death case, the defendant can be found guilty with a preponderance of the evidence, which means they were more likely than not guilty of their negligence.  

The Four Elements of Wrongful Death Cases

Proving a wrongful death claim or lawsuit means being about to prove these four elements:


In wrongful death cases, the plaintiff or their attorney must establish that the defendant either directly played a role or significantly contributed to the plaintiff’s loved one’s death through reckless, careless, or even purposeful actions. 

Breach of Duty

A successful wrongful death case requires proving that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of reasonable care that was violated. For instance, all drivers owe others on the road a duty of care, but when they violate traffic laws and cause the death of another, they have breached their duty of care and can be held liable for wrongful death damages. 

The plaintiff must establish that the duty of the defendant existed and how that duty was breached, which resulted in their negligent actions.


In addition, to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care, the plaintiff must also prove that their breach was the direct or proximate cause of their loved one’s death. This is where the burden of proof comes into play. The plaintiff must establish that it’s more likely than not that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of their loved one’s death. 


Once it’s established that the defendant was negligent and therefore liable for damages, the plaintiff must prove their need for monetary compensation due to the harm caused by the defendant. Proving the existence and need for damages requires strong and compelling evidence, and some evidence may even require expert testimony. A Colorado wrongful death lawyer is a significant help in collecting evidence and presenting it in a way that supports your claim.

Work With Our Skilled Wrongful Death Attorney at Mintz Law Firm 

When it comes to wrongful death cases, the credibility and quality of evidence are crucial to a successful case. For this reason, it’s recommended to have strong legal representation who can ensure that you have the necessary evidence to support your claim. When you work with Mintz Law Firm, you can be confident that our team will go the extra mile to build a case around strong evidence that meets the burden of proof necessary for a successful outcome. 

At Mintz Law Firm, we’re there for our clients every step of the way. Wrongful death cases can be complicated, but we are committed to securing the best possible results for our clients. The team at Mintz Law Firm can help you through the process of obtaining the necessary evidence for a favorable outcome. Schedule a consultation today by calling (303) 462-2999 or completing our contact form.

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