One of the most painful experiences in life is losing a loved one. In moments of grief, the last thing you want to do is think about going to court. But in cases where another party’s negligence or malice is involved, you have every right to pursue compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and lost wages.
Any death proven to be a result of another person or party is legally considered wrongful. In such cases, the deceased’s beneficiaries may be eligible for a financial settlement from the liable persons. In the majority of cases, wrongful deaths involve multiple parties such as hospitals and businesses.
Various incidents may result in wrongful death:
- Vehicular accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective medication
In most cases, the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased may be entitled to compensation. But before filing a wrongful death claim, the following must be established:
- There is a surviving family member.
- Your loved one’s death was the result of the carelessness of another party.
- The deceased would have been eligible for personal injury claims had they survived.
- The death brought the loss of anticipated future earnings for the surviving family.
What to do after a loved one’s wrongful death
The weeks following a loved one’s wrongful death are the hardest. It will be easy to feel overwhelmed with emotions and not know how to move on. The following steps will help you protect your rights and seek justice for the deceased loved one.
Surround yourself with comfort
When you’re grieving, it can be easy to ignore surviving family members and close friends. Choose to be around people you can rely on to understand your sadness. They can give you the support you need to survive day-to-day life while you’re coping. Other loved ones can also help gather facts and documentation for a potential wrongful death claim.
Seek professional support
It’s perfectly normal to feel sorrow and frustration after the death of someone dear to you. But letting your emotions get the best of you can interfere with negotiations and court proceedings if necessary. For this reason, legal claims for wrongful death are best approached with reason, logic, and a clear mind.
Grieving is necessary to move on, but you don’t have to do it alone. Talking to a therapist or grief support group will make things a lot easier to process. An expert can guide you in replacing your negative emotions with more hopeful ones.
Evidence is key to a successful claim. Gathering as much proof as possible will help strengthen your case.
Evidence may take the form of:
- Medical records (prescriptions, x-rays, hospital bills)
- Accident reports
- Photographic or video evidence
- Death certificates.
- Eyewitness testimony
The longer you delay your investigation, the harder it may be to collect the necessary evidence.
Contact an attorney
A wrongful death lawyer can work on gathering evidence while you grieve and attend to your family’s needs. They can help identify the type of compensation you may be entitled to and ensure your rights are protected.
While no compensation can replace your loved one’s life, a wrongful death claim can make a significant difference for your family’s future.