What Evidence Do You Need When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

Navigating the aftermath of losing a loved one is never easy, especially when their death was preventable and caused by another’s negligence or misconduct. In such emotionally charged circumstances, pursuing a wrongful death claim can seem overwhelming.  However, it’s a necessary step towards justice and financial stability during this challenging time. Understanding and gathering the

Navigating the aftermath of losing a loved one is never easy, especially when their death was preventable and caused by another’s negligence or misconduct. In such emotionally charged circumstances, pursuing a wrongful death claim can seem overwhelming. 

However, it’s a necessary step towards justice and financial stability during this challenging time. Understanding and gathering the proper evidence is crucial to building a solid case. 

This article will delve into the specific types of evidence required when filing a wrongful death claim, guiding solidifying your case and ensuring your loved one’s story is told comprehensively and accurately.

If you want compensation for your loss, consider talking to a wrongful death lawyer in Boca Raton at Dyson Law, PLLC, to find out the best course of action for you. 

We offer a free first meeting for families in mourning, and you won’t have to pay us anything unless we win your case against the responsible party.

Evidence Needed To Support Wrongful Death Claim

When filing a wrongful death claim, every piece of evidence matters, as it contributes to building a solid case against the responsible party. 

Medical Records of the Deceased

Medical records are essential in a wrongful death case because they show the health, injuries, and treatment of the person who died. These documents make evident what health problems they had, what injuries they suffered, and how these things affected their life. 

They create a history of what happened medically and show how much help the person needed because of someone else’s mistake or harmful actions that caused their death.

Lawyers look closely at these records to see if there were any big mistakes in the person’s medical care. For instance, if the person didn’t get the proper medical help, was given the wrong medicine, or if there was a delay in finding out what was wrong with them, these details are proof of mistakes or neglect by doctors or medical places.

Also, these records can tell us how much the person suffered before they died. They can show how bad the pain was, what kind of injuries they had, and how much they were hurting both in their body and their feelings. This is very important when asking for money for things like pain and suffering or the loss of being with someone.

To get these medical records, it’s important to ask everyone who gave medical care to the person, like hospitals, doctors, and specialists. It’s essential to do this quickly because these places have rules and timing for giving out this information. 

Having a lawyer who knows a lot about wrongful death cases can help you get these records fast and use them correctly in your case.

Physical Evidence

Evidence is significant when making a wrongful death claim. It shows who is responsible and how the family members left behind are hurt. One kind of evidence is “physical evidence.” 

This means things you can touch or see that explain what happened to cause the death. It could be things like photos from where the accident occurred, broken products, or signs of mistakes by the person who owns the place where it happened.

For car accidents, things like damage to cars, broken parts, tire marks, or videos from traffic cameras can tell the story of what happened before the accident. This helps show who caused the accident. 

For accidents at work or other places, things like broken tools, lousy safety practices, or dangerous spots can show that the owner or the person in charge didn’t do their job to keep the place safe.

Another critical piece of evidence is the report from an autopsy, which is a medical check to see why someone died. This report talks about the injuries the person had and can connect these injuries to the reason for the death. It’s also a way to show that what the defense is saying isn’t true, making the family’s case stronger.

It’s essential to keep this evidence safe right after the death. This includes writing down details, taking photos, saving any objects that are part of the evidence, and keeping them safe so they’re not lost or changed. It’s wise to talk to a lawyer who knows much about wrongful death cases. 

They can help collect and save evidence correctly so it can be used in court to support the family’s request for money to help with their loss.

Images and Videos

Pictures or videos give a clear picture of what led to the sad event. This intense proof shows who is at fault, points out the mistakes, and makes the person’s case better. By showing the key moments, these pictures and videos make it hard for others to argue against them and help ensure the family gets paid for their significant loss.

They’re also crucial for giving proof in cases where someone died because of someone else’s mistake. These photos and clips show precisely what happened before the accident, making it clear and sure. 

They could be videos from cameras in the area, pictures of the person’s injuries, or clips that show what the person who caused the accident did. This kind of proof makes your case stronger.

It’s vital to get these pictures and videos right after the accident because they can get changed or go missing as time passes. Keeping this proof safe is critical for a good case. Also, talking to lawyers who know about these cases is essential. They know the rules for using this proof and can help get and show them the right way.

Autopsy and Police Reports

One of the essential kinds of proof is a report from looking closely at the body to see why the person died. 

A doctor does this check, and they can figure out exactly what injuries happened and how the person died. This is important, especially if you think the death was because someone was careless or did something on purpose. 

The report from this check helps show that the wrong thing that happened directly caused the death and wasn’t because of something else.

If a car accident happens, a report from the police is also significant. This report notes everything about the accident, like who saw what happened, what the people involved have to say, and if anyone broke any driving rules. 

For accidents at places or on construction sites, there might not be a police report. But, there should be a report from the person who owns the place or the construction company, telling what happened in order.

Other kinds of proof are also helpful. Records from doctors give information about the injuries, what treatment was done, and how much it cost. What witnesses say can provide a clear picture of what they saw, supporting what you say happened. Bills and information about money lost because of the death show how you suffered financially. 

Death Certificate

A doctor or another medical person fills this out, and it’s an official paper that says the person died and what caused the death. It has important details like the person’s name, when and where they were born, when and where they died, why they died, and the signature of the doctor who looked after them.

The death certificate is vital because it shows the reason the person died and ties it back to what someone else did wrong. It clarifies that the person has passed away and gives a solid starting point for the claim. It also makes sure no one can question what caused the death, making the claim stronger. Usually, insurance companies and lawyers ask for an official copy of the death certificate to start the legal process for a wrongful death claim.

The death certificate isn’t just proof that someone died. It’s also used to determine how much money the family should get. It’s used to add up costs like hospital bills, funeral expenses, money spent for burial, and even the money the person would have earned if they hadn’t died. 

The death certificate, along with other papers like medical bills and records of money matters, shows how much the family lost financially because of the death.

Elements Involved In Proving Wrongful Death

Filing a wrongful death claim may be the next step for family members to receive justice and compensation for their loss. 

To successfully pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, some aspects of evidence are crucial in proving the case. From medical records to witness statements, each piece of evidence plays a significant role in building a solid and compelling argument.


Negligence is a legal term that refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to another person.

It’s a key concept in wrongful death claims, as it lays the foundation for establishing liability and seeking compensation for the financial losses and emotional pain experienced by surviving family members. Obtaining and presenting the necessary evidence to prove negligence is a complex and challenging task, so it’s crucial to seek the help of experienced attorneys specializing in wrongful death laws. 

These professionals can guide the grieving family through the legal process, gather the required evidence, and advocate for their rights in pursuit of justice and accountability.


Breach of duty is a critical element of a wrongful death claim, as it establishes the negligence or misconduct of the responsible party that directly contributed to the untimely death of an individual. When someone fails to meet their duty of care, whether through negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing, they may be held legally liable for the resulting harm and losses. 

To successfully prove a breach of duty in a wrongful death claim, you need to collect sufficient evidence that demonstrates the responsible party’s failure to meet their obligations. This evidence can take various forms, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. 

For example, in a car accident case, witness statements, police reports, and accident reconstruction analyses may be used to show that the driver breached their duty of care by disregarding traffic laws or driving under the influence.

In medical malpractice claims, medical records, expert opinions, and testimony from medical professionals can be instrumental in establishing a breach of duty. 

By comparing the care provided to the deceased person with the accepted standard of care, it can be demonstrated how the healthcare provider deviated from their duty, leading to the wrongful death. 

Similarly, in cases involving premises liability or defective products, gathering evidence such as maintenance records, safety inspections, and expert opinions can help prove that the responsible party failed to fulfill their obligation to maintain a safe environment or produce safe products.

Proving a breach of duty is a crucial step in building a solid wrongful death claim. It requires a thorough investigation, collection of evidence, and often the expertise of experienced attorneys who specialize in criminal death cases. 

By demonstrating that the responsible party failed to fulfill their duty of care, you can support your claim for financial compensation for the losses and damages from the wrongful death.


Causation refers to the connection between the defendant’s actions or omissions and the death of the victim. To prove causation, it is necessary to gather evidence that shows a direct link between the responsible party’s wrongful actions and the fatal outcome. This evidence can vary depending on the nature of the incident that led to the death.

For example, in cases involving automobile accidents, evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstruction analyses can be crucial in demonstrating how the defendant’s careless or reckless driving directly caused the death. 

In addition, any evidence of driving under the influence distracted driving, or other traffic violations can strengthen the causation argument.

Similarly, in medical malpractice cases, it is essential to gather medical records, expert opinions, and testimony from healthcare professionals to establish the link between negligent medical treatment and the death of the patient. 

These pieces of evidence help to demonstrate how the healthcare provider failed to meet the accepted standard of care, leading to a fatal outcome.

In cases involving premises liability or defective products, evidence such as maintenance records, safety inspections, and expert opinions can help establish the causal connection. 

By demonstrating that the responsible party failed to maintain a safe environment or produce safe products, thereby directly causing the fatal accident or injury, the causation element can be strengthened.


Damages, in the context of a wrongful death claim, refer to the losses and expenses incurred as a result of the death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act. When filing a wrongful death claim, it is essential to gather evidence that supports the calculation of damages to seek fair financial compensation for the various losses suffered by the surviving family members.

One of the primary categories of damages in a wrongful death claim is financial loss. This may include the deceased person’s medical bills, funeral expenses, and any lost income or earning potential they would have provided for their family if they had survived. 

Gathering medical records, receipts, and wage statements can help establish the extent of these financial losses and prove the need for compensation.

In addition to financial losses, non-economic damages are also a crucial aspect of a wrongful death claim. These damages are often more challenging to quantify as they pertain to intangible losses, such as the emotional pain and suffering experienced by the surviving family members, the loss of companionship, and the impact of the deceased person’s death on their relationships. Testimony from family members, friends, and mental health professionals can provide valuable evidence to support the claim for non-economic damages.

Another potential category of damages in a wrongful death claim is punitive damages. Unlike other damages that aim to compensate the victim’s family for their losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for their wrongful actions and deter similar behavior in the future. 

To establish a claim for punitive damages, evidence must demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent, willful, or malicious.

Talk to a Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Navigating the aftermath of losing a loved one due to someone else’s actions or mistakes can be emotionally taxing and complex. However, you don’t have to go through it alone. 

Speaking with a Philadelphia wrongful death lawyer can make a significant difference in finding peace and financial support. 

A qualified attorney can help you understand your rights, guide you through the legal maze, and work diligently to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your relationship with your loved one was priceless, and while no amount of money can replace their presence, it can alleviate the financial strain resulting from this tragic event.

Call us at Dyson Law, PLLC, today.

Peter A. Dyson, Esq


Peter Dyson is the managing partner of Dyson Law PLLC. Peter runs the day-to-day operations of the firm as well as actively litigates on behalf of clients...READ MORE

Skip to content