Losing a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful actions is extremely painful. Not only will you struggle emotionally, you might also struggle financially. Consequently, you need to hire a lawyer who can help you get justice.
Here’s a primer for when and why you should hire a wrongful death attorney.
What Is a Wrongful Death Suit?
A wrongful death occurs when someone causes the death of another person due to their negligence or intentional actions.
A wrongful death suit helps the estate and/or loved ones of the deceased person file a case against the person(s) legally liable for the death. Typically, a representative of the deceased’s estate will file such a lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family that has been affected by the wrongful death.
With a wrongful death suit, the goal is to help those who were financially supported by the deceased. The suit will seek compensation for the lost income, in addition to damages for the overall negligence that led to someone’s death, and for the value of that person’s life.
Another objective of filing a wrongful death suit can be to give closure to those who lose a loved one in this manner. By helping them navigate such a lawsuit, an attorney can help them find a sense of justice, which plays a crucial role in the healing process.
The Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death
A statute of limitations designates a time period within which you must file your claim. Once the period expires, any claim that could have been brought will be gone forever. In short, once a statute of limitations expires, there is no way to pursue that claim.
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim, or any negligence claim for that matter, is one year from the date of incident that led to the death or injury caused by the negligent act.
This means that if someone is involved in a car wreck, and is killed or seriously injured, the statute of limitations is one year from the date the wreck occurred. Within that one year time-period, in order to preserve the claim, it must be settled or a lawsuit must be filed with the appropriate court.
When Should You Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?
There are a number of situations where a defendant’s wrongful actions can lead to the death of another individual. Several examples are shown below.
1. Car Accident Deaths That Involve Negligence
If a victim is killed due to a car accident, you might have a wrongful death claim. Issues such as drunk driving, reckless driving, or negligent driving are the most common reasons for a wrongful death lawsuit.
2. When a Victim Dies Due to Medical Malpractice
A misdiagnosis, treatment error, surgery error, or even failure to diagnose an illness can lead to a patient’s death. In such cases, if the doctor failed to deliver a reasonable level of care that another doctor in the same circumstances would have, you might have grounds for a wrongful death suit.
In many medical malpractice situations, there are critical questions that make or break the case, which include:
- What are the relevant medical care standards in such a situation?
- Did the medical professional in question adhere to or deviate from these standards?
It’s almost customary for medical malpractice attorneys to bring in one or more expert witnesses who can provide information to help answer these questions.
You will need to talk to a lawyer who can assess the facts of your case and give an accurate verdict whether you have a valid suit.
3. Pharmaceutical Drug Error
When a pharmaceutical company does not disclose (or even covers up) the harmful side effects of a drug, this can result in wrongful death.
What’s more, if such a company does not inform consumers about the fatal interaction of two drugs and someone dies as a result, there might be grounds for a wrongful death suit.
Why You Should Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer for Your Case
Proving a wrongful death suit involves meeting the same burden of proof that the victim would have had to meet, had they lived. As such, you need expert thinking to help you navigate such a situation.
Here’s why you should hire a lawyer for your wrongful death suit:
1. An Attorney Understands the Legal Context
You need to have insight into many areas of the law to navigate a wrongful death suit credibly. If you miss out on information that may be binding to the case, you risk losing justice for your loved ones.
When you hire an experienced and reputable wrongful death lawyer, they can help you identify all the legal issues affecting your case. You will then be in a position to build a strong case for your loved one.
2. An Attorney Can Negotiate on Your Behalf
Filing a wrongful death suit is only one-half of the journey. The other half is negotiating with insurance companies for compensation, particularly in cases where they choose to settle instead of going to trial.
You will need a lawyer who can go toe-to-toe with the attorneys of insurance companies to ensure you get compensated.
If you attempt to do it yourself, the insurance providers – who hire a team of legal experts – can easily try to take advantage of you and short change you on a settlement.
3. An Attorney Can Get Maximum Damages
It’s one thing for your lawyer to negotiate on your behalf, and another for them to secure maximum damages.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer has been through similar cases and knows which levers to pull when claiming the highest possible amount for you.
As such, you can avoid accepting less compensation for the damages you are entitled to.
Get Justice for Your Loved One and Closure
Losing a loved one due to the reckless or negligent behavior of another is painful and usually life altering. If the deceased was the breadwinner for your family, it can result in significant financial pressure on you and the others that depended on the deceased.
It is essential to hire a wrongful death attorney who has handled a case like yours before to help you get justice for your loved one. Reasonover Law Firm is a team of compassionate, caring, but tough attorneys who understand your need for justice.
Talk to us today for legal representation in your wrongful death suit. We are ready to fight for your rights.