Request a Free Consultation

How To Prove Wrongful Death In Philadelphia

Posted on March 14, 2024

How To Prove Wrongful Death In PhiladelphiaLosing a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another is a devastating experience. In Pennsylvania, families who have suffered such a loss have the option to pursue justice through a wrongful death claim. However, proving wrongful death requires meeting specific legal criteria and presenting compelling evidence.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Case

To establish that another party is responsible for the wrongful death of another, the following elements must be proven:

  • Duty of Care: The defendant (at-fault party) owed a duty of care to the deceased. This duty of care is a legal obligation to act with reasonable care to prevent harm to others.
  • Breach of Duty: The next step is to demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty of care through negligent or wrongful actions. This could include reckless driving, medical malpractice, or any other actions that directly contributed to the death of the individual.
  • Causation: Causation is a critical element in proving wrongful death. It involves showing that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the deceased’s death. This requires establishing a clear link between the defendant’s actions and the fatal outcome.
  • Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they have suffered damages as a result of the wrongful death. This can include various types of losses, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, and emotional pain and suffering.

How To Prove These Elements

Gathering evidence is crucial for proving wrongful death. This includes:


Police reports, witness statements, medical records, and any other documentation related to the accident or incident that led to the death. Photographic evidence of the scene, injuries, and property damage can also be valuable.

Expert Testimony

Expert testimony from professionals such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, or forensic experts may be necessary to support your case. These experts can provide insights and analysis that strengthen the evidence of negligence or wrongful conduct.

Financial Losses

Proving financial losses is an essential aspect of a wrongful death claim. This includes documenting the economic impact of the death, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, and other financial contributions the deceased would have made to their family.

Surviving Family Testimony

To establish emotional distress, evidence must demonstrate the profound impact of the loss on the surviving family members. This can include testimonies from loved ones detailing the emotional bond with the deceased, the circumstances surrounding the death, and the subsequent grief and suffering experienced. Documentation of psychological treatment or therapy sought by the survivors can also provide supporting evidence.

How an Attorney Can Help

Working with an experienced Philadelphia wrongful death attorney is crucial for navigating the legal complexities of these cases. A knowledgeable lawyer can assess the specifics of your situation, meticulously gather evidence, interview witnesses, consult with experts, and advocate for your rights throughout the legal process.

A lawyer will skillfully negotiate with the insurance company or opposing party to seek a fair settlement that adequately compensates your family for your losses. In the event of a trial, an attorney will vigorously represent you in court, presenting persuasive arguments and evidence to establish liability and secure the maximum compensation available.