The death of a loved one has never been an easy thing to accept or deal with. It is notably more complex when the death resulted from someone’s negligence and mistakes. Knowing it was preventable can kindle bitterness towards the perpetrator. Whether the death resulted from a medical procedure gone wrong, a workplace accident, or even a road accident, you deserve the closure that comes with obtaining justice for your loved one’s death.
Ronald Wilt, a Kentucky wrongful death attorney, gives five steps to take when filing a wrongful death case.
Steps to Take When Filing a Wrongful Death Case
1. Seek Legal Counsel
Wrongful death claims are considered being some of the most complicated lawsuits in the legal world. For this reason, it is expedient to seek the counsel of a legal expert before making any rash moves.
With the guidance of a wrongful death lawyer, you will be able to establish the extent to which your claim can go and how much you may receive as compensation. What’s more, an experienced lawyer can help you prove the wrongful death of your loved one.
2. Establish the Cause of Death
To file a wrongful death claim, you first need to establish what caused the death of your loved one. It is by proving their death was preventable and caused by someone else’s negligence that you can have grounds to sue.
To do this, you may require evidence of various kinds, including an autopsy report that may prove the cause of death. Witnesses may also come in handy at this point.
3. Find Out the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a crucial aspect you should consider as you plan to file your lawsuit. Since different states have different periods during which you can file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to consider yours carefully. To be on the safe side, it is wise to file your case as soon as possible. Any delay will only be disadvantageous to your claim.
4. Determine All Your Losses
An experienced lawyer can help you quantify all the ways the incident has negatively affected your life. This may include hospital bills, funeral costs, loss of consortium, and the emotional pain and trauma you endured as a result of your loved one’s death. You could also include future losses within your claim. For instance, if your loved one was the breadwinner, you may include future expenses such as school and college fees in your claim.
5. Gather All Relevant Evidence
To have a winning chance in your wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to provide the court with a preponderance of evidence to support your claim. This may include medical documents, CCTV footage, photographs, or any other indication the death of your loved one was not due to inevitable natural causes.
Keep enough copies of such vital evidence and safely have them with you at every point of the wrongful death legal battle.
Find Justice for Your Family
Grieving for your loved one is hard as it is without adding the stress and pressure that comes with legal battles. However, for your sake and justice for your loved one, you will have to take an active role in the lawsuit.
Taking these five steps may make it easier for you to attain justice and gain compensation for all the losses you may have incurred from the wrongful death. Do not let your grief, anger, and rage blind you during this challenging time. Instead, reach out to a lawyer and let them guide you on how to file a wrongful death claim.