If you have experienced a death in the family due to someone else’s negligence, you might be finding it difficult to know what to do next. You might even wonder if it’s worth pursuing a wrongful death claim, especially if you’ve heard how complicated cases can be. However, hiring a wrongful death attorney can help you in numerous ways in your effort to get justice for your loved one.
7 Ways a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You Get Justice
Understanding the Process
Hopefully, you have never had to deal with a wrongful death situation before, so it’s quite natural that you won’t understand everything there is to know about the legal process, which can be very complicated and tricky to navigate. Lawyers that specialize in wrongful deaths have navigated these waters before and know exactly what needs to happen and when to ensure you receive appropriate compensation.
For example, knowing when specific deadlines fall is critical to ensuring a case is not thrown out. With everything else you have going on in your life, it would not be hard to miss a deadline, thereby jeopardizing your entire case. A wrongful death lawyer, though, not only knows the deadlines, but understands it’s their entire job to ensure the process is followed to the letter. They take the tedious, complicated parts off your plate and put it on theirs.
Understanding the Value of Your Case
Through experience, a wrongful death lawyer is going to know how to properly value your case. Since you hopefully don’t have any experience valuing someone’s life in terms of monetary compensation, you could very easily undervalue what your claim is worth. An attorney will carefully evaluate your circumstances to understand all the ways in which your life and your family members’ lives have been impacted by this loss. Only when the correct value is determined can appropriate compensation be pursued.
When an attorney assesses your claim, they will take into account several factors, including medical expenses incurred by your loved one, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, and the pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your loss. Many people believe they can only be compensated for any medical and funeral bills, but this is not true. All monetary and emotional losses in a wrongful death situation can be taken under consideration for settlements and awards.
As most wrongful deaths are sudden, leaving the remaining loved ones behind to deal with the loss, you are probably in the depths of grieving and learning to cope with your new life. It can be difficult to think clearly about legal issues even in the best of times, but in the worst of times, it can be impossible. A lawyer will provide you with any support you need, and the best ones even treat you like a family member.
Most wrongful death cases have a deadline by which they must be filed, and unfortunately, it’s usually within the same period when grief is at its highest. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer will allow you to take the time you need to mourn your loss while still ensuring the legal process moves forward. While it is difficult to worry about the legal aspects while you’re grieving, you definitely don’t want to miss your opportunity to receive the compensation you deserve.
Going to Trial
Not every wrongful death case goes to trial, but you want to be prepared in case you’re not able to come to a settlement agreement. Every effort will be made by your attorney to avoid going to court by reaching a fair settlement with the other party. However, sometimes, there are too many sticking points or other factors that are prohibitive to a fair settlement. In those cases, you want to have a trial-experienced attorney by your side.
Accordingly, you want to ensure that the wrongful death lawyer you hire does have trial experience. Some attorneys only handle settlements and do not have any practical courtroom experience. For this reason, you want to find out how many cases an attorney has taken to trial and what the results were prior to making a decision to hire them. Hopefully, you won’t have to go to trial, either, but you will be prepared for that possibility.
Communicating With Other Parties
The last thing you want to do when you have suffered the loss of a loved one is communicate with the at-fault party or their insurance company. In fact, this is a major reason why an attorney is recommended in wrongful death situations and why you should retain one immediately. Once you retain a lawyer, the insurance company is no longer legally allowed to communicate directly with you. They must always contact your lawyer for any and all communications.
It is likewise not advised for you to attempt to negotiate a settlement on your own with the insurance company. Remember that the insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible and could try to offer you a settlement that is far less than what would be considered fair compensation in your case. It’s normal to want to accept a quick settlement, but an attorney will ensure it is also a fair settlement.
Experienced wrongful death lawyers have accumulated access to various experts over the years, and when you hire one, you also gain access to these experts. For example, you may need a financial expert to calculate the monetary value of your loss. Or, if fault is in doubt, you may need an accident reconstruction expert to show the insurance company, a judge, or a jury exactly how the accident happened and whose fault it was.
Other experts you may need access to include medical doctors and private investigators, and your attorney will have the necessary connections to hire them for your case. Plus, since your attorney will likely be working on a contingency basis, you won’t have to come up with payment for these experts out of pocket at the time you need them. Their pay will be taken from your settlement or award after the case is over, making it a seamless process.
Evidence from cases that involve negligence can disappear quickly, but it can be critical to your case. An experienced attorney will use investigators to ensure evidence is properly collected and preserved so it can be used to prove fault and negligence. Insurance companies are more likely to offer a fair settlement if the evidence in the case is indisputable and you are less likely to have to go to court.
However, if you do end up in court, the evidence will be extremely important because you’ll have to convince a jury or a judge that you should be awarded compensation. Your wrongful death lawyer will ensure that the evidence in your case does not disappear along that way so that they can present your case as fully as possible.
No one wants to think about settlements, lawsuits, evidence, or insurance companies when they’re in the middle of grieving a tremendous loss. However, hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney can ensure that you have the proper time to grieve and are still able to move a claim through the legal process. Call Yonke Law, LLC today to schedule your free consultation. We’re here to help.