Unfortunately, wrongful deaths are a near-daily occurrence. For example, medical errors, which often fall under the category of medical malpractice, are the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
If you believe that your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death, the last thing you need right now is to battle someone else’s lawyer. Personal injury lawyers are here to support the plaintiffs of wrongful death cases.
That said, you might feel up to the challenge of filing the claim, yourself. We’re here to tell you why it’s always better to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Read on to find out how personal injury lawyers can help you with your wrongful death case.
Determining the Salience of Your Case
Many experienced personal injury lawyers like the Alpha Accident Lawyers will begin the legal relationship by providing a free case consultation. This is, in large part, so that you can learn more about them before you make the decision to hire them. However, it is also to ensure that you have the grounds to file a wrongful death case, in the first place.
In order to meet the legal standards of a wrongful death case, you will need to establish a variety of facts beyond the preponderance of the evidence. During your free case consultation, your potential lawyer will ask about the basics of your case. They will then provide their expert opinion on whether or not you have a wrongful death case on your hands.
This first step is important because it prevents families from going down the path of opening up a time-consuming legal procedure when they are unlikely to win. Plus, it can help you connect with the right lawyer for the job.
Establishing Negligence or Fault
Accidental deaths happen far too often. However, not all accidental deaths fall under the category of wrongful death. In order to establish that your loved one was the victim of wrongful death, you will need to prove that the death was caused by negligence or fault.
The former is more common in wrongful death cases, which are strictly civil cases. However, wrongful death cases can accompany criminal cases, in which case the defendant caused the death of another person on purpose. In either event, an experienced personal injury attorney will help you to navigate this process.
In order to establish negligence in the context of wrongful death law, you will need to prove that the defendant owed your loved one the duty of care and that they failed to adequately meet that duty of care. This can include failing to provide the proper treatment for a known illness, driving while intoxicated, and so forth.
Collecting and Presenting Relevant Evidence
In order to win a wrongful death case, you will need to provide relevant evidence of the following things:
- the defendant’s negligence or intentional harm that breached the duty of care owed to your loved one
- the connection between these negligence or harm and the death of your loved one
- the financial impact of this death
This will require you to collect a variety of statements and documents. This can include expert testimony that lends to the case that the duty of care was breached. It also includes records of the cause of death, relevant bills, and documentation of the loss of support for dependents.
The average person will not know what evidence to share and how to frame the use of that evidence. An experienced attorney will, and will take on the burden of presenting a compelling case.
Read More: What Is Reckless Driving?
Damages refer to the amount of financial compensation you are demanding from the defendant. It is often useful to ask for more damages than you believe your case is worth, as the settlement will likely be lower than the original demand.
Determining damages may seem like a cut-and-dry process on the surface. For example, it damages often cover:
- funeral expenses
- loss of income provided by the deceased
- financial compensation for lost benefits provided by the deceased
- loss of inheritance that was to be provided by the deceased
All of these things can seem simple enough to calculate. However, determining something like the amount of inheritance you would have received had your loved one continued to live and work can become tricky. Plus, damages can also include things that are hard to quantify financially, such as the loss of support, love, and companionship you received from your loved one.
An experienced personal injury lawyer has fought hundreds of cases like yours. They know how to set damages at a fair amount that accounts for everything we’ve listed here and more.
Leveling the Playing Field
When you’re filing any type of personal injury claim, including wrongful death claims, you’re not just filing the claim against the defendant. You’re filing the claim against their insurance company.
This is important because while the defendant may not have the resources to hire a fierce legal team, insurance companies do. Representing yourself when the defense is backed by legal representation is never a fair fight. Level the playing field by hiring an experienced lawyer of your own who can recognize and combat common defense tactics used in cases like yours.
Don’t Fight Wrongful Death Cases Alone
Wrongful death cases are complicated, and those impacted by them are often in serious grief. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best decision you can make at a time like this. Don’t fight for justice alone when you could get the help of a winning expert.
Are you considering going into law to represent the victims of negligence or harm? Take a look around for legal resources that will help you become the best lawyer you can be.