Why Time Is of the Essence After a Wrongful Death
From consoling loved ones to making funeral arrangements to handling administrative tasks, it’s hard enough to find time to grieve after the death of a family member—let alone worry about legal proceedings. For this reason, many people put off filing their claim, but this often turns out to be a costly mistake.
Depending on the circumstances, it may take several months to perform a thorough investigation into your case. Your Palm Beach Gardens wrongful death lawyer may need to speak with medical, financial, and accident reconstruction experts. It may also be necessary to file subpoenas to obtain evidence. If the statute of limitations is approaching and the attorney doesn’t have enough time to adequately prepare for settlement negotiations, he or she might not even accept your case.
In fact, putting off your legal consultation for just a few weeks could lead to complications. You might end up making a critical mistake that a lawyer could have helped you avoid. It’s also possible that time-sensitive evidence will become unavailable, which could increase the chances of a dispute. The sooner you enlist the help of a skilled wrongful death attorney, the sooner you can focus on your family and your emotional health while your case proceeds in good hands.Elements That Must Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Claim
No matter the cause of your family member’s death or who was responsible, there are three elements that must be proven in order to obtain a financial award: liability, causation, and damages. In other words, even if it seems obvious that another person is at-fault for the death, you might still face an uphill legal battle if you don’t have sufficient evidence to prove damages.
Strong evidence is the foundation of every successful wrongful death claim. The types of evidence your attorney will use depends on the circumstances, which is why it’s so important to hire a lawyer who has successfully handled cases like yours. A skilled wrongful death attorney with the right experience will know the kinds of evidence that will be needed to prevent disputes and to give your claim the best possible chances of resulting in a fair settlement.
Evidence of liability may include the incident report, the police report, surveillance and dash cam recordings, photos of the scene, witness testimony, and accident reconstruction expert testimony. There are many other kinds of evidence that might contribute to your case depending on how the death occurred and who was responsible. For instance, black box data might be used to prove negligence if your loved one died in a commercial truck accident. Product blueprints and recall data might be useful if the death occurred due to a product defect.
To prove causation, your attorney will have to tie together the evidence of liability and damages using medical records, photos of injuries, the police report, and other documentation. Finally, your Palm Beach Gardens wrongful death attorney will have to prove damages. Important evidence may include medical documents, financial documents to prove lost wages and benefits, expert witness testimony, and any receipts or invoices for costs related to the death.