A death in the family is never easy, however, it can be especially traumatic when it was a result of someone else’s negligence. So, if you believe that your loved one lost their life due to the negligence of someone else, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death case. However, there are many steps involved in cases such as these, and a wrongful death lawyer in Milwaukee can assist you through this process.
How a lawyer proceeds with your case will depend on several factors. There are many crucial steps when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, including identifying everyone who is a possible defendant, keeping evidence intact, and deciding whether an estate should be created.
Some of the most common examples of wrongful death cases your attorney may specialize in include car accidents, on-the-job mishaps, bike accidents, train accidents, pedestrian accidents, drownings, and dog attacks. A competent wrongful death attorney will work tirelessly to prove and explain liability, determine your economic losses, and evaluate your noneconomic damages. Depending on the type of accident, expert witnesses, such as financial experts or car accident reconstructionist, may need to be called in for testimony.
You should note that not everyone is eligible to file a lawsuit. Just because you lost a loved one that was very important in your life, does not mean that you are within your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, only certain relationships qualify. A registered spouse, children, stepchildren, or parent of the deceased will be able to file a lawsuit, especially if they were financially dependent on that person. While it is possible for other people who were involved in the dead person’s life to file a lawsuit, they cannot do it on their own. What basically happens is that the estate will file a claim and then disburse it.
Furthermore, in order to get compensation in a wrongful death case, you need to be able to prove that the defendant was negligent and that it was that negligence that caused the loved one’s death. While this may be obvious in certain situations, others will require more damning evidence. Therefore, it is advisable and crucial that you preserve as much information as you possibly can about the incident.
Some information that should be preserved include detailed records of all medical reports. In order to have evidence of the cause of death, you will need to request an autopsy report as well. You should also maintain all information pertaining to expenses such as medical bills, property damages, funeral expenses, etc. So, make sure that you have receipts for all of these. If there were eyewitnesses to the incident, get their contact information and ask them to write down exactly what they saw. Photographs and video recordings are especially valuable, if relevant to the case. If the incident occurred on or in a business, you should request copies of their surveillance videos.
So, while losing a loved one is never easy to deal with, you should take solace in the fact that holding the at-fault party accountable is the right thing to do, as this will ensure they do not repeat their actions.