If you've been served with a notice of a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be worried about the outcome. In order to build a solid and reasonable defense in a case like this, you'll need to talk with a wrongful death lawyer about the situation. By working with an attorney, you'll be able to explore all of the potential defenses based on the specific details of your case. Here are a few of the options that your attorney might explore.
It Wasn't Necessarily Your Fault
In order for you to be held liable for the person's death, there must be a clear connection between your actions and the death. The cause of death doesn't necessarily have to be a direct result of your actions, but there should be a clear relationship between the two. If your attorney can cast any doubt on your actions being related to the death, that may be a reasonable defense.
The Deceased Knew The Risk
If the incident in question was risky, the victim's family may try to claim that you put him or her at risk. Sometimes, being able to show that the other party was clearly aware of the risks and willingly participated is enough to protect yourself from liability. You might be able to claim that the assumption of risk was on the victim, so it wasn't your fault. One of the best ways to document this is with a signed liability waiver. If the other party signed a waiver before participating in whatever event, function or action that led to their death, that waiver may protect you from the lawsuit.
You Were Only Protecting Yourself
In most cases, self-defense is a reasonable defense against a wrongful death suit. Your attorney may opt for this method of defense if you were defending yourself against an immediate threat of harm. You'll have to be able to prove that you had reason to be afraid for your well-being and life.
The Victim Was Breaking The Law
When the individual dies in the commission of a crime, you may not be held liable for the incident. In fact, if you can prove that the deceased was trespassing or otherwise violating the law at the time of the death, that may absolve you of liability.
These are a few of the common defense options for a wrongful death suit. If you believe that you might have a defense, talk with a wrongful death attorney right away. He or she can see how your situation relates to the state's laws and help you build your case. Click here for more info about defending yourself against a wrongful death lawsuit.
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