About 224,930 people died due to unintentional injury deaths within the span of a single year. In fact, unintentional injury deaths are now the fourth leading cause of death in the US. If you recently lost someone due to another party’s negligence, you could have a wrongful death case.
Make sure to avoid these seven wrongful death lawsuit mistakes when pursuing legal action, though. Otherwise, these mistakes could hurt your case. Losing a loved one is hard enough as it is.
Read on to learn how to avoid these costly mistakes today.
1. Family Disputes
It’s normal for a family tragedy to cause high levels of tension or even arguments between family members. After losing a loved one, you’ll need to work together to make difficult decisions. However, these decisions can lead to uncomfortable discussions.
You might even experience an unfamiliar, compromised mental state when negotiating the situation among family members.
During this time, it’s critical that you work together; not against one another. Pay attention to your loved ones during this difficult time. Otherwise, constant family disputes will make the process of pursuing a wrongful death case more difficult.
If you’re struggling to manage these discussions with your family members, you could experience communication issues. Miscommunication could make the likelihood of wrongful death lawsuit mistakes more likely.
Before that happens, take the time to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer. An experienced attorney will help you and your family members determine the best course of action. Their experience with similar situations can guide you during this difficult time.
2. Negotiating With Insurers
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when pursuing a wrongful death case is negotiating with an insurance company. After losing a loved one due to negligence, you might receive a call from the accountable party’s insurance provider. The insurance provider will likely offer compensation.
However, they’ll likely provide a lowball offer that doesn’t take your loss or pain and suffering into account. Unfortunately, you might struggle to determine an ideal amount for compensation alone.
If you lack experience with wrongful death lawsuits, talk to an attorney. They can help you navigate this unfamiliar process.
Look for a lawyer who has years of experience negotiating with insurance companies.
Trying to negotiate with the insurance company alone might not work in your favor. After all, the company is concerned about helping their client. They won’t have your best interests at heart.
In fact, you could say something to the insurance company that might lead them to lower or reject the amount owed to you. They might twist something you say against you. If you’re still grieving, you might not think through what you say during these negotiations.
Your lawyer will coach you before these negotiations with the insurance company. They can also negotiate on your behalf, allowing you to avoid any costly mistakes.
3. Quickly Accepting an Offer
Don’t make the mistake of accepting the first offer you receive from an insurance company. Remember, they’ll likely send you a lowball offer at first. Don’t accept any other settlement offers for damages, either.
Instead, consult an experienced wrongful death attorney. They’ll calculate the full extent of your losses, including pain and suffering. With their help, you can demand more.
Otherwise, you might have to pay for your loved one’s funeral costs out of your own pocket. You might not receive enough to cover all expenses related to your loss.
Perhaps your loved one contributed a significant portion of your family’s income. These situations can become more difficult if you rush to accept a lowball offer.
4. Not Considering All Parties
In order to fight for compensation, you’ll need to prove the guilty party was negligent and therefore liable. However, liability isn’t always clear. Take the time to consult a lawyer.
Your lawyer can leverage professional contacts to gather evidence to prove who was at fault for the accident.
In some cases, multiple factors or parties can contribute to a death. You might neglect to consider all guilty parties when filing your claim.
Involving all guilty parties can help increase the settlement offer. It can ensure you cover all expenses as a result of losing a loved one.
5. Delaying Legal Action
Neglecting to take legal action right away might allow the statute of limitations to lapse. If you miss the lawsuit filing deadline, you could struggle to fight for compensation.
Working with an attorney will ensure you don’t miss this deadline.
If you neglect to take action at all, you’ll miss the chance to hold the guilty party responsible for your loss. You won’t receive compensation for the losses you’ve experienced.
6. Failing to Gather Evidence
In order to prove the other party’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, you’ll need evidence. For example, you might need the official police report for the accident or medical records to prove the other party was at fault.
Working with a wrongful death lawyer will ensure you gather the evidence you need.
7. Not Hiring a Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when handling a wrongful death case is neglecting to contact a lawyer. A wrongful death lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes. Remember, they can also help you maximize the settlement amount.
The process of filing wrongful death lawsuit documents can get confusing if you lack the necessary experience. A mistake with these documents could get your case tossed out.
There are now over 681,010 lawyers across the US. Before hiring a lawyer, learn more about their professional history. First, determine how long they’ve practiced in your state.
Some legal procedures and laws can vary based on where the case is handled.
Next, determine how many wrongful death cases they’ve handled. Consider how many they’ve taken on in the past year, too. Make sure their experience and expertise are relevant to your distinct needs.
Otherwise, you might hire a lawyer who lacks the know-how or resources necessary to maximize your claim.
Avoid These Wrongful Death Lawsuit Mistakes Today
Don’t let these wrongful death lawsuit mistakes impact the outcome of your case. Instead, contact a wrongful death lawyer right away. Leveraging their experience and expertise will ensure you avoid such costly mistakes.
Want to talk to a lawyer about your own wrongful death case? We’re here to help.
Contact us today to get started.
Cook & Tolley, LLP
304 E Washington
St Athens, GA 30601