It is never easy to deal with the loss of a family member. Emotions are high and everyone is sad. Although it is difficult to focus while grieving, sometimes it is what you must do. If you suspect that the death of your family member was due to someone else's neglect, you may have a wrongful death situation on your hands. While you may feel angry, it is important that you stay calm and get help.
Wrongful Death: What Is It?
A wrongful death is when someone dies due to the neglect of another person. For example, a doctor that prescribes dangerous medication without asking for a complete medical history and the result is death. The death was caused by the negligence of the doctor and therefor the doctor is to blame.
Wrongful Death Filing Tips
If you believe you have a wrongful death case, you may want to file against the negligent party. Filing a lawsuit will help you heal emotionally and financially, as you will get an apology, and sometimes, financial help.
If you want to file a lawsuit, keep these three tips in mind:
1. Time Is Of the Essence
It may be difficult to be focused and levelheaded, but wrongful death cases usually have a time limit. Most states have a statute of limitation for wrongful death cases. For example, in Washington State, the statute of limitation is three years from the date of death. This means you have three years to file suit and come to agreement.
Each state has a different statute of limitation, so check with your state laws. Alternatively, you can speak to a personal injury lawyer in your area, such as Elliott & MacLean LLP.
2. Gather Evidence
In order to prove a negligent person caused the death, you will need to gather evidence. Any supporting evidence you can find will be helpful. Look for medical records, autopsy reports, eyewitnesses, character statements, and photos.
If you do not have access to these files, contact a family member who does. A child, parent, or spouse will usually be able to access medical files and findings.
3. Determine Damages
A wrongful death case can award an assortment of different damages. Some common damages include financial support, companionship, parental help, and future earnings. You may also be able to recover damages for lost wages and income taxes.
Determine what you need compensation for and talk with your lawyer. Together, you can work to achieve the financial and mental support you need during this rough time.
Losing a loved one is a nightmare come true. If you believe your loved one's death was caused by negligence, speak with a personal injury attorney today to discuss your case.