Losing a loved one is a stressful and difficult time, and the grief can be compounded when the death occurred due to someone else’s negligence or irresponsibility. You may be struggling to pay medical bills and handle other losses, and you may be feeling a strong urge to see that justice is done. If you’ve lost someone due to the negligence of another, you need an experienced wrongful death lawyer who can get you the compensation and satisfaction that will help you go on with your life.
16 Ways a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You Get Justice
File a Claim on Your Behalf
A wrongful death attorney is there to represent you in the litigation process. The attorney will collect all necessary information and file the appropriate claim against the people responsible for your loved one’s death.
Handle the Complicated Process
The process of filing and pursuing a wrongful death claim is complicated and can be confusing. There are more steps to this process than to other types of injury lawsuits. Proper procedures must be carefully followed, and time limits must be understood and respected.
Let someone with the expertise and knowledge of this type of case take care of the process for you. This isn’t a challenge you will want to take on alone.
Determine Whether You Are Eligible to Sue
The law only allows certain people to bring a suit against someone else for a wrongful death. The requirements vary based on the age of the deceased and whether or not the person had a will or an estate.
In most cases, the person who can sue for wrongful death must be the spouse of the person who has died or the person’s children or grandchildren. A wrongful death lawyer will tell you who can file a wrongful death claim and who can legally be the beneficiaries of the compensation awarded.
List Documents You Will Need
Your lawyer will tell you what kind of documentation will be necessary to begin the process of your suit so you can be sure you have all of the information you will need.
Typically a death certificate and OMI reports are required right away. OMI reports are from the Office of the Medical Investigator. They usually include notes from the medical examiner about the autopsy or external evaluation. They may also include toxicology reports showing any drugs or substances found in the bloodwork of the deceased.
Identify All Negligent Parties
Your lawyer will know who can be held legally responsible for your loved one’s death. Sometimes more than one party has responsibility, and your attorney will make sure that all negligent parties are identified.
Your attorney will build a case to prove negligence in the eyes of the law. Experienced attorneys understand that the law requires certain criteria to be used in building a wrongful death claim, and they will know the proper procedure for making a strong case against the parties at fault.
Hold Responsible People Accountable
Justice is served when people who behaved inappropriately or did not do their jobs are held accountable for the actions or lack of action that caused the death of your loved one. Your wrongful death lawyer will make sure that those people are made to be responsible for what they have done and will send a strong message to help ensure that the same situation doesn’t occur again.
Talk to Witnesses
In building your case, your attorney will identify and interview witnesses who may have information about or insight into the circumstances that lead to the death of your loved one. People who were involved in the event and expert witnesses may be asked to give their testimonies.
Gather Important Evidence
Your lawyer will gather documentation for any evidence related to your case. This could include medical records, time logs, or even personal phone bills. Sometimes individuals and companies are reluctant to share these documents, but experience wrongful death attorneys know he to demand that the evidence be released.
Negotiate With Insurance Representatives
Negotiations with insurance company representatives can be grueling, and sometimes insurance company lawyers use tough tactics. The insurance companies want to save as much money as possible and will typically offer a low settlement that may not even cover medical bills. You need a skilled negotiator on your side who can be just as strong as the insurance representatives and will make the insurance companies pay what is appropriate.
Get Compensation for Medical Expenses
Medical expenses are often incurred when someone passes away, and the law says that the people responsible for the death that occurred should pay those expenses. Your wrongful death suit will cover any hospital visits, surgeries, ambulance rides, or other medical procedures that were required in treating or trying to save the person who died. You or the person’s estate should not have to cover those bills.
Get Burial Expenses Paid
Negligent parties are also legally responsible to pay for the expenses involved in burying the person who has died. This includes the payment for the funeral, burial, and cremation if applicable as well as costs related to the transportation of the body. Your lawyer will document these expenses and include them as part of your wrongful death suit.
Get Compensation for Pain & Suffering
Pain and suffering can be difficult to calculate because it is not a quantifiable loss like a medical bill. Your attorney will know what compensation is reasonable for pain and suffering in your case, and will include that in your claim. The law says that you deserve compensation for the stress and pain you are going through in dealing with the death of someone close to you.
Fight for Punitive Damages
If the death was the result of someone else’s malicious or intentional actions, sometimes punitive damages are also awarded. If this is part of your case, your lawyer will determine what to ask the court for in terms of punitive damages from the responsible party.
Demand Payment For Other Losses
You may have incurred other losses as a result of the death of your loved one. This may include loss of future income as well as other losses related to family relationships. These are sometimes called loss of consortium and loss of guidance.
Represent You in Court
Many times a wrongful death case can be concluded with one party agreeing to pay the other an appropriate settlement. Sometimes, however, the case must go to court. In that case, you’ll need an attorney with a strong trial background to represent you in front of a judge and jury. In a wrongful death case, it is important for a lawyer to be comfortable both in the courtroom and in negotiations
When you are dealing with the pain and sorrow that comes from losing someone you love, you need help from professionals who understand the litigation process and know how to get you the justice you deserve. You need a strong, tough, legal team who can fight for your rights and the rights of your deceased family member. When you need a wrongful death lawyer, only the best will do. Contact Potts Law Firm as soon as possible for a free consultation.