Just like the law allows a survivor of an accident to seek compensation for his or her injuries, it also allows members of the family to seek compensation in cases where the injured person did not survive. Known as a wrongful death claim, this type of legal action is similar to an ordinary personal injury lawsuit in many regards, but is filed on behalf of the deceased.
Wrongful death claims also have additional stipulations, such as restrictions on which family members can bring the claim, which make them more complicated than many personal injury lawsuits.
However, this shouldn’t keep you from seeking a claim like this. If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident and you believe that their death should have been prevented, consider speaking with an attorney about the possibility of bringing a wrongful death claim on behalf of your lost loved one.
Documents Required to Start and Finish a Wrongful Death Claim
Gathering the pieces of your loved one’s story can be overwhelming for many reasons. A wrongful death claim can involve a lot of conflicting emotions, regardless of how much or how little paperwork is involved. Often, a family tragedy brings buried conflict to the surface when everyone is most vulnerable.
Despite this, a wrongful death claim is worth pursuing, especially if anyone in the family was dependent on the deceased. A settlement can bring back the person you’ve lost, but it can enable your family to continue providing for each other as long as is needed.
Records from the life and death of your loved one will help to determine the value of a potential settlement:
- The death certificate. Being a trusted and authoritative record of your loved one’s death and its cause, this document is an essential part of your claim.
- Medical records. Given how often medical errors endanger the health and lives of patients, you should get records of any medications, procedures, or any other treatments that your loved one received in the time leading up to the end. If an autopsy was performed, these records can help establish the cause of death if this is under dispute.
- Police records. If your loved one died as the result of an accident, the police may have been involved at some point. If the police report was filed, you may find details in the report that you would not have thought to notice on your own.
- Financial records. Tax documents, pay stubs, and other financial statements are often the most important for calculating the value of a wrongful death claim. If your loved one had children or other dependents, it’s especially important they are compensated for the loss of a provider.
The aftermath of an accident is never an easy time to manage paperwork, but it’s especially difficult when you and your entire family are grieving. If you don’t want to go through this yourself, you don’t need to. By consulting a personal injury attorney with years of experience, like Katherine, you can pursue the compensation that your family deserves while taking a step back from it all.
When you’re ready, give us a call, email, or just a text message, and we’ll be glad to take this burden off your family.