What Facts Must Be Proven In A Wrongful Death Case Against A Caretaker?

When an unexpected death occurs due to the negligence of another, it may be left to the family of the deceased to prove the other party is at fault. For example, if a loved one is unable to care for himself and then dies while in the care of another, the death may have been caused by the negligence of the caretaker.

Even if this was unintentional on the part of the caretaker, he may be held responsible if proper care was not given to ensure the safety of the person who he was caring for. However, it is not always easy to prove a caregiver was negligent. These are the facts that must be proven in a wrongful death case against a caretaker.

Proof of Duty 

First, the plaintiff must prove that the other party had the duty of caring for the deceased person. For instance, if the caretaker was being paid for providing regular care, it may be necessary to provide proof of a contract of duty and copies of payments made to the caretaker.

It may not be sufficient enough to simply say there was a verbal agreement between the caretaker and the family who hired him. The caretaker can easily deny they had any responsibility of caring for the patient. Without written proof of hiring and paying him for the services rendered, it is basically the plaintiff's word against the defendant's word.

Breach of Contractual Duty 

Once the plaintiff has proved the other party was responsible for the deceased person's care, he must also prove that adequate care was not given as agreed on in the contract. For example, if the patient needed certain medications that were not given as directed by a physician, this may need to be proven. 

Unfortunately, this is not always easy to prove. Bloodwork may need to be done on the deceased person to confirm that the necessary medications were not in his system. If physical abuse is suspected, the plaintiff may need to provide visual proof of injuries suffered by the patient.

Cause of Death 

Along with proving that proper care was not given to the deceased person, the plaintiff must also prove that this was the cause of that person's death. This often requires extensive investigations, including having an autopsy performed on the deceased person to confirm the cause of death.

A wrongful death case may be a lengthy process. However, by remembering these three facts and hiring a professional personal injury attorney, like those at Morales Law, you will have the support you need to take every legal step necessary to prove that your loved one died due to the negligence of another.