Wrongful Death is the name of a Tort Claim or Civil Action, usually, brought by the beneficiaries of a deceased person against a person or persons (Natural persons and/or Companies) who may be found liable for the wrongful death.
It is worth to note that Wrongful Death is a modern statutory doctrine. Under the English Common Law, a dead person's prospective heirs and/or beneficiaries could not recover anything if a person wrongfully died. This is why, the common, somewhat, macabre belief was if you hit someone by accident, make sure you kill them. So that any Tort or Civil claim for damages due to the Death would die with the victim.
In the United States the standard proof for wrongful death, generally, is by “Preponderance of the Evidence,” which means more likely than not the defendant's action or omission caused the death. Although this standard of proof is much easier than “Clear and Convincing” or “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,” standards of proof, nonetheless, it is a highly complex process, which is best suited for highly competent, diligent and compassionate lawyers.
Moreover, each jurisdiction (state) has a Statute of Limitation that bars the length of time allowed for a victim to file a civil lawsuit against the defendant/s. Thus time is of the essence.
The death of a loved one due to someone's negligence or recklessness is an overwhelming experience for most of us. Such negligence or reckless acts or omissions, which result in the wrongful deaths could occur in hospitals, vehicular accidents, violations of workplace safety rules and so on.
If you are inflicted with such a tragedy and wish to hold the culprits liable for your losses, you would have to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The most prudent step would be to consult with one or more lawyers and assess the circumstances of your case. Most competent and compassionate lawyers offer such case evaluation sessions for FREE!
If based on your Chosen Lawyer's professional opinion there is reasonable evidence to pursue a lawsuit, he or she may be interested in representing you. However, in such trying times, you want to make sure that your lawyer and staff have more than just professional acumen. They should also have the emotional maturity and human compassion to help you heal faster, emotionally and financially!
Here are some first steps to take prior to interviewing a Lawyer and Assessing Your Case:
1) Present all the facts that you know of, related to your case accurately. Your lawyer is your legal confidant. Whatever, you confidentially communicate with your lawyer regarding your case could be protected under attorney-client privilege law. This law was devised so clients can confide in their lawyers. After all, your attorney needs to know your side of the story accurately and completely.
2) Write down the facts. It is hard to recollect all the facts and describe them effectively while consulting the attorney; especially, when you are overwhelmed with emotions. So it is best to write them down to explain everything properly. Carry with you any relevant documentations, which may prove to be useful in this regard.
3) Be consistent with your explanations. The attorney may question you a lot and some answers may seem odd to him or her. You have to understand a lawyer's position. By law, lawyers are mandated to investigate all material facts that they are basing their claims upon. Otherwise, they could be held liable for filing false claims and frivolous lawsuits.
Do not be surprised if one lawyer sees a viable claim and yet another does not. This is why, it is always more prudent to consult with more than one lawyer, before choosing the right one for your case.
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