Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things that someone can go through, and losing them to a preventable injury is even more difficult. However, you’re far from alone if this describes you. About 200,955 people pass away each year as a result of wrongful death.
You also aren’t alone in creating a case and getting compensation from the responsible party. A wrongful death attorney can advocate on behalf of your claim and your loved one. Read on to learn how hiring the best wrongful death lawyer can help you succeed in getting some justice.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Before you can understand what a wrongful death lawyer does, it’s important that you first understand what the term “wrongful death” means. These fatalities take place when an individual or business is in some way liable for the death of an innocent victim. This liability can be due to either negligence or misconduct.
Some common causes of wrongful death include:
- Homicide (first, second, or third-degree)
- Transportation/auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Toxic hazards exposure
- Malfunctioning products sold by a company
- Police brutality
However, these are not the only possible reasons for wrongful death. Anything that causes a fatal accident can result in a wrongful death case assuming that a third party is responsible via action or inaction.
Find a lawyer ASAP to discuss whether or not you have a claim. This is the first step toward determining whether you have a case and how much compensation you can obtain.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In both California and Arizona, the following people can file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The victim’s surviving spouse
- The victim’s surviving domestic partner
- Biological children
- Adoptive children
- Financially dependent parents
- Financially dependent stepchildren
The insurance company is unlikely to give you a good settlement if you file a claim with them. They will likely also push you to accept the offer immediately and threaten to take it away if you do not do so by a deadline. However, if you fall into one of the above categories, you can find a lawyer to negotiate and get you a better settlement.
How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help You?
Wrongful death lawyers will quickly open an initial investigation into your case. The first step is to visit the scene of the accident and assess any potential safety hazards. We also will obtain copies of medical records and police reports so that we can better understand the circumstances and impacts of the accident.
We also will work with accident reconstruction experts to determine third-party liability. This work will show us what led to the wrongful death so we can create a stronger case. We also will speak with eyewitnesses to match witness reports with the hazards we identify.
When you find the best wrongful death lawyer possible, they will communicate every step of your case with you. You never will wonder about the way that it’s proceeding. Instead, you will have as much involvement in the process as you like to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Damages and Documents
Attorneys calculate damages related to the claim to see what you may be entitled to. Most compensation will be economic (medical bills, loss of income for the family, memorial service/burial costs, etc). However, many wrongful death claims also allow compensation for non-economic damages such as pain, emotional anguish, grief, and worsening mental illness.
After damages are calculated, your lawyer will handle all claim-related documents. We will assess and calculate damages from medical bills, insurance information, and other claim filings. The point of this is to safeguard and organize all documents that may support your case.
The next step of a wrongful death lawsuit is to negotiate settlements. This means filing a document that requests compensation on your behalf. This document will include calculated damages, liabilities, and other issues.
Settlements usually take place between your representing attorney and the insurance agency that offered initially-low compensation.
We will wait for a response to the offer, but initial settlements tend to be far less than you deserve to be paid. That’s why experienced attorneys will negotiate the settlement amount with the insurance company or third-party defendant. This step is critical in getting you appropriate compensation.
Most wrongful death suits are completely settled out of court. Lawyers perform aggressive settlement negotiations and get you the best possible compensation. However, there are rare occasions where a wrongful death suit will go to court.
It’s the job of a wrongful death attorney to make sure that you get the settlement amount that you are owed. This claim compensation wrongful death lawyers can get you will be the highest sum possible regardless of whether or not your case goes to litigation.
Move Forward With Your Wrongful Death Claim Today
While knowing when to hire a wrongful death attorney can be a challenge, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. If you have lost a loved one due to a third party’s negligence or actions, it’s time to contact a lawyer and see whether or not you can move forward with your claim.
Our team is committed to helping you get compensation and justice after a wrongful death. That’s why we work with you to create a strong case and charge you nothing unless you win. Contact us to discuss your claim and get a free case evaluation.