Wrongful death lawsuits occur when an individual has been illegally killed either by the negligence or intentional actions of another. Wrongful deaths arise from a variety of settings. They can occur in the context of murders, police shootings, car accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, work injuries, and etc. Wrongful death suits are civil, meaning that criminal actions against the defendant can occur later or at the same time. Regardless of how the wrongful death occurs, there are certain procedures that must be followed when dealing with wrongful death lawsuits.
First, the wife and children of the deceased should be identified. These will be the individuals who may bring the wrongful death suit. If the deceased was married when he passed, then his wife will probably bring the suit. On the other hand, if the deceased had no wife but left children, his children would probably bring a wrongful death suit. The wrongful death act lays out the specific guidelines for this.
Second, gather supporting documentation. This documentation includes proof of the deceased’s earnings (i.e., tax returns), a death certificate, photos of the deceased, proof of any bank accounts or assets held by the deceased, and etc. These documents are important for the filing of the deceased’s estate. You should also gather any police reports, witness information, or photos about the deceased’s death.
Third, find an experienced wrongful death lawyer who should notify the defendant and his representatives (i.e., insurance company). This is really important in automobile accident cases involving uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Your lawyer should be thorough, aggressive, and efficient in his communications with these parties.
Fourth, unify your family. Family disputes happen often over money. Wrongful death cases move faster with unified families. Family feuds with lawyers involved require a lot of time, money, and energy, in addition to harming relationships that money cannot buy.
IF YOUR FAMILY MEMBER HAS SUFFERED A WRONGFUL DEATH, CALL THE MANCE LAW GROUP FOR A FREE CONSULTATION AT 912.574.4LAW (4529).