The law has outlined 4 elements to a charge of negligence. The legal system also provides the family of the victim of a wrongful death with the chance to get compensated for its loss. Still, that same family must demonstrate the existence of all 4 elements in the defendant’s alleged careless and neglectful behavior.
Did the defendant have a duty to deliver a specific care to the deceased individual?
• If the deceased died in a car crash, did the defendant have a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a safer manner?
• If the deceased died in possession of a newly-purchased item, had some manufacturer failed to accept a duty to supply consumers with a safe product?
• If the deceased died on someone else’s property, had the property owner failed to carry-out his or her duty to inspect and maintain that owned property? If it was not the owner’s fault, had the manager failed to oversee the property’s maintenance?
• If the deceased died while being cared for in a healthcare facility, had some doctor or other worker in that same facility failed to work towards delivery of an acceptable level of care?
Does the evidence indicate the absence of an expected level of care?
• Had that absence of care consisted of intentional and harmful contact on the part of the defendant?
• Did that absence of care consist of contact that had been made without the victim’s consent?
What injuries were suffered by the victim that later died?
Did the defendant’s failure to deliver a duty of care cause those injuries? The personal injury lawyer in Camrose and Cochrane knows that the defendant cannot be held responsible for the failure of some item that was used during the delivery of an expected level of care? For instance, a healthcare worker could not be held responsible for the poor performance of a prescribed medication.
Did the death of the victim force one or more family members to deal with certain specific losses?
In the absence of a “yes” answer to that fourth question, a judge and jury could not charge a defendant as the person that must compensate the mourning family, and saying that the same defendant caused the wrongful death. By the same token, the family members could not make that charge if the defendant’s answer to any of the other 3 questions had not been “yes.”
Each question represents an attempt to confirm the existence of the 4 essential elements of negligence. If any of those 4 elements has been found wanting, the person being held responsible for the wrongful death becomes free of the need to compensated the grieving relatives. Hence those same relatives fail to win any sort of monetary award.