In cases where a loved one’s death is due to negligence of another person or entity, the victim’s family has a legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and hold the responsible party accountable. However, your claim for damages as a deceased family member depends on several factors. Getting legal help on how to proceed with the case is important before you file it. In addition, you must avoid some common mistakes which can jeopardize the case. Here are five mistakes to avoid in a wrongful death case.
1. Trying to handle the case on your own
It can be tempting to settle the case independently, but this can be a huge mistake when filing a legal claim. Wrongful death cases can be complicated, and the court system may be complex due to its strict requirements and deadlines. Hiring a reputable lawyer with experience in wrongful death lawsuits from the Law Offices of Kamela James will maximize your chances of success without adding unnecessary hassle trying to navigate the legal process alone.
2. Failing to act quickly
In most states, the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits is usually two years. That means you have only two years to file a legal proceeding after the death of a loved one. It’s therefore essential to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible following your loved one’s death. This will give your attorney ample time to conduct an investigation and collect evidence before filing your case.
3. Speaking with the insurance company
The insurance company of the reliable party may try to reach you and offer compensation. However, it’s important to note that their motive is to reduce the amount of damage they pay you as much as possible to make this case disappear. Any answer you give on the phone, in writing or in person can be used against you in a court of law. It’s best to refrain from speaking to the insurance company entirely, even when they try to convince you they are just trying to help.
4. Accepting the initial offer
An insurance company may give you a quick offer when you file a wrongful death claim. However, since the insurance company will offer you as little as possible, their first offers are rarely enough. Take your time to determine the expenses involved in the death of your loved one, including medical and funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, especially if the deceased was a family breadwinner or compensation for the endured pain and suffering. Ensure the settlement adequately compensates you for all these expenses when filing the lawsuit.
5. Speaking publicly about the situation
Due to the traumatic incidents that involve wrongful death, the local newspapers or even a national news outlet may try to reach you for statements. While their intentions are good, it’s important to avoid speaking to them about your loved one’s death. Any information you give can be used against you in your wrongful death lawsuit, even if it looks harmless at the time.
Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is unfortunate and painful. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is the best step in helping you acquire victim compensation. Although the case won’t bring back your loved one, it can help you support your family after the sudden loss and offer the closure you require to move forward.
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