Learning a spouse, parent or child has died after being injured in a car crash is the worst news you can ever receive. There is no way to prepare and it often can be paralyzing.
What steps do you need to take? When might a lawsuit (a wrongful death claim) be appropriate? Here are three points to consider.
#1: Uncovering negligence
Wrongful death claims have four basic elements. Each of these elements must be present in your case.
The big issue is often proving another person's negligent action or omission caused the accident. For example, another driver's phone might show that a text was sent seconds before the crash occurred. Uncovering this evidence can take patience and careful analysis of all the evidence.
Because evidence can be lost or destroyed, it is critical to speak with a personal injury attorney shortly after an accident. If law enforcement is also investigating the whether the other driver was drunk, is it still important to talk to your own attorney to handle the civil case (often these cases run on parallel tracks).
#2: Amount of a loss
When an insurance company offers an unreasonable settlement following a tragedy, you may need to file a lawsuit - we know most people are hesitant to bring these claims, but sometimes it is necessary. Monetary awards in these types of lawsuits are based on losses. This can include the money spent on funeral and burial. It can also include compensation for the pain and suffering.
Determining the damages can often be challenging.
#3: Careful preparation
It takes time and effort to prepare a wrongful death case. Resolving these cases through negotiations might be possible. The alternative to this is going through a trial.
Seeking compensation for your loss is often just one aspect. The other is to hold responsible the individual or company who may have changed the course of many lives. Tell your story to one of our personal injury attorneys to learn what legal options might be available.