Wrongful Death: An Overview

Accidents happen regularly, we all know that, we see it on the evening news each and every day, but it never really hits home until it happens to a loved one. When an accident could have been avoided and was the fault of another party, the loss of someone’s life could be defined as ‘wrongful death.’ When tragedy strikes a loved one, the first thought is to be there for the survivors.

These cases are often very tragic and difficult, and involve great financial and emotional hardship. If you are considering taking legal action, be sure to find an individual or a team who will be there for your time of need, and who will continue working on the case when you are just not up to talking.

Your lawyer should be there to walk you through each and every step of the case when you are ready. Sure, no-one is considering hiring a lawyer immediately after such a tragedy, but it is important. Often, learning to accept the pain of losing a loved one begins with finding closure through a wrongful death suit.

Defining Wrongful Death
When you hear an attorney say: we represent the victims in wrongful death cases – what does that really mean? Wrongful death claims are created when someone has acted negligently, recklessly or deliberately causing harm to another person. Some examples are:

  • Machinery that was intentionally not repaired properly or not repaired at all
  • Buildings that were not kept up to code resulting in an accident
  • Negligent driving, drunk driving or texting and driving and causing an accident where someone passes away
  • Negligent maintenance of an automobile resulting in a collision and death
  • Trucking accidents on the highways
  • Medical Malpractice cases

As you might suspect, it is vital that you have a strong legal team on your side that can prove a wrongful death has occurred.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
Your attorney must prove that:

  • a DUTY OF CARE was owed to the decedent by an individual
  • that individual BREACHED THE STANDARD OF CARE owed to the decedent
  • that the individual’s actions (breach) caused the death of the decedent
  • Damages

Where to Begin
Once you have gathered your thoughts and have gone through part of the grieving process, contacting a legal firm that has experience with wrongful death cases is your next step. Before your meeting, try and do your best to gather the following:

  • Any police reports that were filed at the time of the accident
  • Any accounts from neighbors or other witnesses
  • Coroner or doctor reports
  • As much information as you can gather about the case or the person that was harmed

It might be painful to collect this information, but it is necessary to provide your legal team with as much information about the accident as possible.

During the Process
Wrongful death suits can take a long time to complete (in some cases, these suits are black and white, but this is not always the case). You may want some support during this time to help you through the proceedings. Making sure that you have a loved one to support you or seeking professional help during this time is never a bad idea. Suing the person that was responsible for the death of a loved one isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind following a tragedy. These cases usually take time to develop – and it may take you time to decide that legal action should be taken.

This is all perfectly normal. It is recommended that you act as quickly as possible following a tragic death, but it is also understandable that you need time to heal, reflect, and gather your thoughts before moving forward with legal matters. In many ways, going through the legal process will help to bring closure and some amount of peace.

When you are ready to take legal action, contact the Dellutri Law Group for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We can be reached online at http://www.DellutriLawGroup.com, or by phone at 239-939-0900.

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