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The Burden of Proof in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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In wrongful death cases, the burden of proof means how convinced the jury is to believe your testimony. Your wrongful death attorney must prove to the jury that your version of events is more likely than not to be the truth. The burden of proof applies to all individual elements in your claim.

Read on to find out what you must do when you are the plaintiff or defendant and how your wrongful death attorney comes into play.

If You Are the Defendant

You don't have to prove that a different version of events isn't authentic if you are the defendant. Whereas you may present evidence that contradicts the plaintiff's version, you don't need to convince the jury that your version is more accurate. Instead, your evidence casts doubt on the plaintiff's testimony.

An exception is when you try to prove an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense happens when the plaintiff successfully proves elements of your claim, but you present additional facts. In such a case, you need to prove to the jury that your affirmative defense is more likely than not true.

If You Are the Plaintiff

You are the plaintiff if you bring a claim for wrongful death compensation. The jury requires you to show evidence, testimony, and argument to prove that your version of events is actual. The defendant could argue that part of or the complete version of your testimony isn't true.

So, you are at your best if you build the case carefully. In addition, note that the burden of proof in wrongful death lawsuits lies majorly on the plaintiff's side as you are the one seeking damages. An excellent wrongful death attorney gathers sufficient evidence to prove your case.

Role of Your Wrongful Death Lawyer to Prove Your Case

Your wrongful death attorney helps prove every element of your case so that you can win.  The elements are as listed below.

  • The defendant had a duty of care

  • The defendant neglected their duty of care, and the other party acted unreasonably under the given circumstances

  • Your loved one suffered injuries as a result of the negligence

  • The injuries resulted in wrongful death

Failure to prove any of the above elements could doom your case and lessen the likelihood of compensation.

You are better if you work with a wrongful death lawyer to build a case that meets the burden of proof. First, your attorney evaluates the chances of success against your evidence to determine your case's strengths and weaknesses. After that, you get advice on the suitable course of action to get the proper compensation.


Whether you are the defendant or plaintiff, an excellent lawyer is paramount to winning your wrongful death lawsuit case. The case's complexity is troublesome, especially when you are at a loss. Your wrongful death attorney comes in handy to offer legal representation and help you prove your losses.