With a wrongful death case, the family seeks compensation and justice. While the process can vary depending on the case and the facts you’re able to gather, we recommend that you find an attorney you can trust to represent you. It’s the best way to ensure that you can take the appropriate actions in the wrongful death case. Here are details about wrongful death claims, with more information about the process.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A relative or other close associate is typically the person who brings a wrongful death claim. You could be a spouse, sibling, or other personal representative. The claim could apply to a vehicle accident, medical malpractice, or even an interaction with law enforcement. Wrongful death involves any situation where a person was unjustly killed.
Why is a Wrongful Death Attorney Important?
An attorney is an invaluable resource in your wrongful death claim. They represent you and your attempt to get justice and compensation in the case, but they can also do so much more.
- An attorney will make sure you have a good idea of what you can expect as far as compensation, based on experience and other similar case history.
- An attorney offers their review of the witness statements, evidence, police reports, and hospital records.
- An attorney can negotiate with representatives for the insurance company. It may be a convoluted process, but the attorney can represent you and make sure the process moves forward.
- An attorney can make sure that you’re well-represented in court.
- An attorney can make sure that you understand whether the deal is fair, and whether you could get a better deal if you go to trial .
Here’s the process you can take in your wrongful death case
As the first step in the process of a wrongful death case, you should gather as much information as you can about the case. For example, if the claim involves a vehicle accident, you can gather the police report, any medical records, witness statements, the coroner’s report, and other evidence.
Similarly, with a medical malpractice case, you’ll need information on the procedure, surgery notes, the coroner’s report, and other details. Your attorney can review the records and gather additional records or witness statements as needed for the case.
Once the attorney has reviewed the evidence in your wrongful death claim, they will likely determine whether there’s enough to constitute a viable claim for wrongful death. They will prepare the appropriate paperwork, and then file the claim on your behalf.
Proceed Through Depositions, Mediation, and Settlement Negotiation
For many wrongful death claims, there will be a period in which depositions, mediation, and settlement negotiations take place. It’s an attempt to come to an understanding or agreement about the facts in the case. It may be in your best interest to settle the case instead of proceeding forward to trial. If the evidence is overwhelming, the defendant in the wrongful death claim may be amenable to a settlement.
In medical malpractice claims, for example, the insurance company may be willing to settle for a substantial monetary sum in exchange for an agreement regarding the culpability in the case. If the terms are not satisfactory, the wrongful death claim will proceed to trial. If the defendant refuses to discuss a settlement, your best recourse is probably a trial.
Participate in a Court Trial If Necessary
If the terms are not satisfied with the depositions, mediation, and settlement negotiations, your lawyer can represent you at trial. In many cases, it’s to your advantage to settle the case under terms that are in your best interest. When you proceed through with a trial, you don’t have any control over what the results will be.
Next Step: Consult with Wrongful Death Attorney
You should reach out to find a qualified attorney when negligence causes a wrongful death. You could represent yourself, but there are so many elements in the process that you may not fully understand. It’s in your best interest to work with an attorney who is experienced with wrongful death claims. Without an attorney to represent you, the defendant and their attorneys may not take you seriously.
To learn more about the wrongful death claim, schedule a consult with an experienced attorney. The attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid wrongful death claim and what the next steps will be. Find out if the law term can help you seek justice and compensation. Also, be ready to do what you need to do to proceed with the claim.
You may be interested in: A Complete Guide to a Wrongful Death Lawsuit