Critical Steps to Take After a Wrongful Death
The sudden wrongful death of a loved one is heartbreaking and even infuriating. If your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness and could have been prevented, you may be left with many questions and mixed emotions.
As you unexpectedly plan a funeral or memorial service for your loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. Despite your grief, acting quickly after a wrongful death can significantly impact the overall outcome of your case. Here are some crucial steps to take if your loved one passed away due to wrongful death.
Begin Gathering Evidence
In any injury case, whether due to a car accident or medical malpractice, evidence is one of the most important aspects. This is particularly true if the accident resulted in a loved one’s death. Evidence – like accident scene photos, police reports, and witness testimonies – plays a powerful role in illustrating what actually happened to cause your loved one’s death. Any evidence collected will help tell the story to an insurance company, a judge, and a jury, and will help determine if negligence or carelessness was a factor.
While law enforcement officers will do some investigation depending on the type of accident – say, a car accident, for example – it’s important that you don’t leave everything up to them. After all, they may not necessarily be concerned with your best interests or justice for your loved one. Rather, they seek to close the case quickly. In some cases, those involved in the accident that caused your loved one’s death may be connected to law enforcement and other area officials, which could compromise their investigation.
Instead, do what you can to take a proactive approach and ensure that all evidence available is collected and secured. Over time, evidence can fade along with people’s memories of what happened.
Another important way to obtain evidence is to insist an autopsy be done. No matter the alleged cause of death, an autopsy is the definitive say in the matter and may be the only way to legitimately prove cause of death.
Contact an Attorney
A large portion of an attorney’s job is helping you to collect the aforementioned evidence that is so critical in your case. For example, calls to the police department to speak with the officer compiling the accident report may go unreturned. Or, the police could overlook witnesses or take their statements long after the incident.
An attorney can help you speed up the process of gathering evidence by putting pressure on the individuals who are in the position of securing that evidence. In some cases, an attorney may even hire an independent accident reconstructionist who can provide you with a detailed report of what may have happened. Often, third party reconstruction reports are more accurate than the reports compiled by officials who were on the scene.
Get Help and Support
Grieving a lost loved one is difficult no matter how they passed away. However, the sudden death of a family member due to negligence can be a particularly devastating blow. One of the most important things you can do for yourself and for surviving family members is arrange for help and support.
Grief counseling can help you process the myriad of emotions you’re experiencing. While there’s no “quick fix” and everyone goes through different grieving processes, seeking professional help gives you the freedom and guidance to deal with the various stages of mourning. Counselors can make the burden feel a little lighter.
Call The Mellino Law Firm Today
If your loved one died unexpectedly as the result of negligence, you and your family deserve compensation for expenses related to their death and justice. It’s necessary that the person(s) responsible for your loved one’s passing be held legally liable for their action or inaction.
At The Mellino Law Firm, we have worked with numerous families whose lives were turned upside down by sudden wrongful death. We’re committed to providing you with the zealous and compassionate legal support you need during this difficult time. Our attorneys are here for you.
Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your unique case and how to obtain the full and fair compensation your family deserves. Also, legal action helps to ensure that the same doesn’t happen to another family. Call us now at (440) 276-3535.