Death is inevitable as it is a part of life. However, death resulting in negligence is both painful and unfair to the aggrieved parties. Wrongful death falls under the classification of an act that resulted in a person’s untimely demise.
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Diseases Control in the United States. Unfortunately, some families don’t file wrongful death claims due to bureaucracy and other legal impediments.
Given the complexities of filing death claims, here are suggestions on how to use the law to your advantage:
Seek Legal Aid
Seeking legal representation is the first thing you need to do. A good attorney can explain to you all your legal options and represent you in court if necessary. Los Angeles’s wrongful death lawyers suggest that you screen attorneys and see if they fit the bill.
Since most of them offer free legal consultations, use this opportunity to ask probing questions about these types of cases and are they will help you. He or she should be experienced in this field of law. Communication is also key between you and your legal counsel.
Study Your Options
Your attorney must disclose to you all the possible options so that you can study them. Some of these options are out-of-court settlements and filing a lawsuit. Attorneys usually opt for the former because it’s more convenient for all parties involved. Both the plaintiff and defendant can discuss their terms in front of a court-appointed mediator or judge.
They will listen to both sides and advise on how to proceed with the settlement. If both parties aren’t satisfied with the judge’s decision, their legal counsel can discuss other options for compensation.
Filing a lawsuit is another option, but it can be a physically and emotionally draining experience. Your lawyer needs to submit sets of evidence to support the defendant’s negligence. However, you should be aware of state-imposed statutes of limitations. These limitations or time-bound limits of up to three years, depending on state laws.
Another point to consider is the rules on service of process which your lawyer should be aware of. The court will review all the documents presented, together with the petition filed by the plaintiff. The evaluation might take time, and utmost patience is critical.
Winning the Case and Collecting Damages
A successful claim means winning the case. If the evidence proved that the defendant failed his or her duty to keep the decedent safe, then the plaintiff can be awarded damages. The aggrieved family can be reimbursed for medical, burial and funeral expenses, and wages of the deceased.
They can also file for emotional damages resulting from the death of a loved one, especially a parent of minors. The children were deprived of emotional and financial support and may file a claim in this regard.
Legal action is the best recourse when it comes to wrongful death cases. Exhaust all lawful means and hire an experienced lawyer. The untimely demise of a loved one is a burden, and seeking justice and compensation shouldn’t add to your list of worries.