If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence in Orange County, CA, you are entitled to compensatory damages under the state laws. These damages can be recovered by filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. An Orange County wrongful death attorney can help you seek these damages.
However, like any damages claim, you will need to produce the relevant evidence to back up your case. The more evidence there is to support your claim, the better are your odds of successfully recovering damages. On the other hand, a lack of evidence can cause your claim to be refused, both by the insurer and by a court of law.
Before gathering evidence for a wrongful death case, it is important to understand what kind of evidence is relevant in such cases. Here is a look at the type of evidence you will need for your wrongful death claim.
A death certificate legally confirms that the victim on whose behalf you are seeking damages has deceased. It also notes the precise date and time of death. In addition, the certificate clearly mentions the actual cause of death, such as a road accident or a construction accident.
This certificate is typically verified by the coroner and is an integral piece of evidence for any wrongful death case. You can obtain a copy of the death certificate from the California Department of Public Health. This copy must be appended to the claim or lawsuit at the time of filing.
In nearly all wrongful death incidents, law enforcement personnel will arrive on the scene to investigate. The responding officers will then file a report detailing the specifics of the incident. This report often includes references to any on-site evidence that was present at the time of the investigation. The police report is a vital piece of evidence for substantiating the facts of the case and also giving a factual idea of how the incident happened.
After a wrongful death incident, the coroner will usually order an autopsy to ascertain the cause of death. The findings of the report will be included on the death certificate in brief. However, it is best to obtain a copy of the autopsy report as it provides important details on the cause of death.
If a victim suffered severe injuries in an incident and died sometime later of these injuries, you will need to gather medical records as well. These records should detail the date and time of admission to the hospital, the duration of the stay, any tests that were conducted and their results, as well as notes from the treating physician. The aim of these records is to help establish the nature and severity of injuries sustained in the actual incident.
Credible witnesses who can substantiate your version can be very useful in a wrongful death claim. If any persons witnessed the incident that led to the victim’s death, make sure you get their contact details. Your lawyer can later take interviews of these witnesses and cite them in a claim for damages. If the case goes to court, these witnesses can then be called upon to provide in-court testimony.
Other forms of evidence in a wrongful death case may include photos and videos from the scene, and CCTV footage from a nearby camera if available. These can be used to clearly establish what happened and how it happened. In the presence of more compelling evidence, an insurance company will be less likely to turn down your claim.
The ultimate aim of a wrongful death case is to award financial compensation to the dependents of a deceased victim. To ensure that the heirs and dependents were financially reliant on the victim, you will need to produce the tax returns, pay stubs, tuition fees, and other financial evidence. This evidence will be used to establish the financial contribution of the victim to a household.
Hire an Orange County Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one due to another person’s negligence is a tragedy. It is important to hold the negligent party responsible for their actions. A wrongful death claim is one way of doing so. Here at the Crockett Law Group, we help the families of wrongful death victims recover the full amount of compensatory damages from the negligent entity. We also help you gather all the relevant evidence to ensure that you have a valid claim. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case with our attorneys.