Perhaps nothing is so traumatic as losing a loved one unexpectedly. This upheaval in your family life is made worse if someone else’s intentional or negligent act caused this wrongful death. Although your world has been shattered, you could let us seek justice for you, which could include monetary compensation for your loss.

A civil action can be based on a criminal act but is more often brought because of a negligent one. If your deceased loved one had lived and been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, chances are you could work with the knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys with McDonald at Law to bring a claim on the same grounds. One function they could undertake is determining negligence in a Lancaster wrongful death claim.

Negligent Acts that Could Cause an Untimely Passing

No hard rule determines what type of activity can lead to a wrongful death claim. Negligent acts can include:

  • Car, motorcycle, or truck accidents in which defendants are texting, driving intoxicated, speeding, or partaking in any unreasonable behavior
  • Medical malpractice
  • Criminal act in which the perpetrator intentionally attacks the victim
  • Defective product, in which the design, manufacture, or lack of warning causes a consumer’s death

Any time someone’s apparent reckless actions cause another party to pass away, a competent attorney at McDonald at Law in Lancaster may be able to recover compensation.

The Four Elements Necessary to Determine Negligence

The well-versed Lancaster lawyers at McDonald at Law could help analyze the wrongful death claim and use the four elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages to determine whether negligence occurred.


People owe a duty to keep each other safe in situations they control. They are bound to act as a reasonable person would in a similar situation. This element of negligence is called the duty of care. For instance, all people are bound to drive safely. Thus, the duty of care is a societal oath to act responsibly and do what is necessary to keep others safe or refrain from acts that cause harm.

Judges ultimately decide if a duty is owed. The judge will weigh duty in similar decided cases, if the death was predictable, how the harm to the deceased happened, and how much time passed between the defendant’s acts and the individual’s passing.

Breach of Duty

If the court decides a duty exists, the injured party must then prove the defendant breached it. Returning to the motor vehicle accident example, the family’s attorney must prove the defendant drove recklessly before plowing into the victim, which is not what a reasonable person would do, thus breaching the duty of care.


Proving causation means the defendant’s breach led to the other person’s harm. If the deceased was hit by one car in which the driver was texting, and the defendant cannot stop in time to avoid the wreck, the court will probably find the first driver negligent. The defendant could be negligent also if they were unable to stop because they were speeding.


In negligence cases, the decedent’s family must prove defendants’ acts harmed them, and in wrongful death cases, injuries are assumed if all other elements are proved because the person harmed has died.

Consult with a Lancaster Attorney to Build a Case for Negligence in Wrongful Death Claims

Our Lancaster legal team understands you are grieving for the loss of a loved one caused by someone else’s negligence. We believe you are owed the compensation your loved one would have received.

Let us handle your wrongful death claim by determining the defendant’s negligence and fighting for the money your family deserves. Call McDonald at Law for an appointment today.

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