If a family member or loved one has been killed as a result of the action of another person, you are entitled to bring a wrongful death action to recover damages for lost care, support, benefits, inheritance, and more. Only a competent wrongful death attorney can assist you in navigating the complex and confusing world of the legal system. Let's look at some of the issues involved in evaluating and filing a claim.
Your Time Is Limited By Statute Of Limitations
It is extremely important to understand your state's laws on wrongful death. You have a limited amount of time to file your claim. However, even if the statute of limitations is more than a year away, you have to move quickly after the incident to preserve and protect important evidence to support the claim. Unfortunately, while you are busy grieving and burying your loved one, the parties that are responsible for loss are hiring adjusters, defense attorneys and investigators to minimize and eliminate their liability to you. You must act quickly, even if it is inconvenient to do so.
An experienced personal injury attorney can tell you:
After you have allowed a wrongful death attorney to evaluate your case, he will work together with his legal team to find and preserve the information needed to win the case. This can include physical evidence such as medical records, police reports, internal company documents, photographs, surveillance tapes, expert testimony and other important evidence. Your attorney will also interview and screen witnesses on your behalf, make phone calls, write letters for you and either litigate, mediate, or settle the case based upon what is in your best interest.
Defense Attorneys and Insurance Adjusters Are Professional Negotiators
Do not ever volunteer to give a written or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster or defense attorney without consulting a personal injury lawyer of your own. Defense attorneys and insurance adjusters are hired for the sole purpose of minimizing or eliminating the liability of those responsible for the death of your loved one. They are not your "friends." They are not there to "help." They are not there to "find the truth."
They are there to gather evidence to justify paying less money to you and your loved ones.
If an insurance company is involved in your case, you are facing professional negotiators, insurance adjusters and attorneys. You need a professional negotiator of your own? Do not ever agree to give a recorded or written statement to a defense attorney or adjuster.
Instead, retain competent legal counsel to protect your rights. If your case goes to court, an experienced wrongful death lawyer is trained to counter and attack with all the procedural issues and evidentiary rules involved in filing pleadings, motions as well as obtaining evidence through discovery, and appearing in court.
Wrongful Death Claims Require Competent Legal Counsel
Litigating a wrongful death claim is not a "do it yourself" project. It should be left in the hands of a professional attorney who is skilled and experienced in the science of litigating wrongful death claims. Remember, a person who represents himself has a fool for a client.
Don't be a fool.