If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Not only are you dealing with the loss of your family member, but you are also likely dealing with unexpected costs and expenses as a result of the loss. An experienced wrongful death attorney can provide you the guidance you need to recover the damages you have suffered, while also helping lessen the stress you are enduring while trying to heal.
Wrongful death litigation can be complex. There are numerous rules and procedures that must be followed. Below is a sample of a few of the tasks your lawyer will handle on your family’s behalf:
- File the wrongful death lawsuit. It is important that the petition meets the requirements for this type of claim, while also being persuasive and strong enough to stand up to challenges made by the opposing party.
- Gather proof. A variety of types of evidence may exist that can support a wrongful death claim. Evidence can be gathered through investigations, depositions, document requests, expert analysis, and other methods.
- Defeating defenses. The opposing party will lodge as many legal defenses as possible to avoid liability for your damages. Your attorney will respond timely to the defenses while protecting your rights.
- Settlement Negotiations. Although television shows make it appear that every case goes to trial, most cases (including wrongful death lawsuits) are settled out of court. An attorney will assist you in navigating the settlement process and determine whether or not you should accept a settlement offer.
- Trial. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will represent your best interests in front of a judge and/or jury. Arguing a case in court requires not only knowledge of the rules and procedural requirements, but also experience in how to effectively present the facts in a way that will be most favorable to you.
It is important to understand that damages in a wrongful death case can differ from a normal personal injury case. An experienced wrongful death attorney will retain expert consultants to evaluate the evidence relevant to the accident. Sometimes it is necessary to reconstruct the accident to fully understand how it occurred and all the parties that may be at fault.
Your attorney will also depose all witnesses and parties involved in the lawsuit. Not only is this step important to understanding what happened to cause the accident, but to ensure that the lawsuit has been filed against all potentially responsible parties.
If there is a medical issue regarding whether the accident was the direct cause of your loved one’s death, experts will be retained to prove causation. In most cases, however, it is obvious that the accident caused the death.
Finally, your attorney will ensure that the judge or the jury understands who this special person was and how his/her loss has impacted family and friends. In determining damages, the court must be presented with a picture of how deeply the loss has been felt by everyone who knew the deceased.
Contact the Law Office of Alex Cha & Associates to speak to a wrongful death attorney who can help you during this difficult time.