While many people think their lives would get better if they won a workers compensation settlement or personal injury lawsuit. While this really is not true, no one ever says they want to file a wrongful death settlement claim. The problem is that many people do. Whether it is in a car accident or the death is the result of medical malpractice, you may need to file such a lawsuit if someone you love has died in way that is suspicious and may be due to another person’s negligence. Here are some things you should do to get the best outcome for your case.
- Determine if you can file the claim. There are a few people who have the legal right to get a wrongful death settlement. The only people who are entitled to file this kind of claim are immediate family members or a person who has been selected to represent them. In these cases, the law deems only spouses or partners or children. If the person’s children are no longer living, their grandchildren can bring the lawsuit.
- Collect documentation to support the wrongful death claim. When someone dies, they may leave the people who depend on them in a bad way financially and emotionally. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed to recover monies they would have received if the person had not died. To show this, you should have proof of the person’s income (past, present and future) and any other financial claims that have been lost. In the area of emotional support, losing someone means losing a companion, someone to offer spousal and parental advice. While it is harder to put a dollar amount on these loses, these loses should be factored in. The last thing that should be put into play is the amount that was spent on the funeral.
- Get cracking on your wrongful death settlement claim. When it comes to these kinds of lawsuits, there is a finite amount of time that you have to get your paperwork. Like any lawsuit that involves someone else’s negligence, there are limits to when the case can be filed. It is important to act on this right away if you are going to have a better outcome for your wrongful death case.
- Find a lawyer. When you think you may be entitled to a wrongful death settlement, it is a good idea to have a consultation with a wrongful death attorney. The good news on this front is that most reputable law firms offer prospective clients a free consultation. This is a good time for them to evaluate your situation and let you know if they think that you have a case that is viable. Many people think that personal injury lawyers and those who work on wrongful death cases are all about getting people to file frivolous lawsuits but this is not at all true. The majority do not charge a fee unless they win so it is in their best interests to only take on cases that have a chance to succeed.
- Treat your first consultation with the law firm like a job interview. You should go in with a list of questions and should not hire any lawyer who does not want to take the time to answer all of the. Here are a few:
- What is your policy for billing? Law firms all have their own way of handling their billing. Even if they tell you they do not charge a fee unless they win your case, there may be other expenses you will have to pay so be clear on the policy and amount you may have to pay.
- How much experience do you have with this kind of cases? While different wrongful death cases will share some things in common, every case is different. You want someone with at least some experience with your kind of situation.
- Who will be working on my case? There are a lot of professionals who work in law firms. Ask to meet all of the people who will work on your case.
No one wants to have to try to get a wrongful death settlements but these tips can help your case.