How To Protect Your Rights
June 03, 2024

Understanding Wrongful Death Cases & How To Protect Your Rights

Even though it may seem rare, wrongful deaths happen very often. It can occur because of someone’s negligence or simply a tragic accident. Such situations are extremely difficult, both legally and emotionally, and most people give up initiating legal proceedings as nothing can bring their loved ones back. However, justice should be served and you should be determined to solve your case, as such things can happen again if the perpetrator isn’t punished. It is essential to know your rights during such a situation and to know what to expect.

How To Protect Your Rights

How Does a Wrongful Death Occur

First of all, it’s important to know how to distinguish wrongful deaths and how they usually occur in order to know how to prove the wrongful death to your attorney and to court. Wrongful deaths are deaths that usually occur due to someone’s negligence or wrong treatment. It is crucial to know the difference between a natural death and death without anyone’s cause. Wrongful deaths may occur due to medical negligence, such as improper treatment and surgical mistakes. Additionally, another very frequent type of wrongful death is one during a car accident, such as drunk driving, speeding, or simply negligent driving.

Steps to Take Before the Trial

This process can be extremely emotional and difficult to deal with, but in order to achieve the justice you probably want, you have to find the strength and time to go through the long procedure. You should take immediate steps, such as gathering the evidence. If the death happened due to medical malpractice, such evidence would include medical reports, witness statements, if there were any, and any physical proof, such as wrong medicine, etc.

In the case of an accident, you’ll also need medical records and accident reports. Evidence is a crucial weapon in the court, but witness statements are one of the most important. The next important step is finding an appropriate legal representative who will present all the collected evidence to the court and also deal with all legal obligations later on during the process.

Steps During the Trial

In some cases, you do not have to go on a trial if you agree simply with tour lawyers. It may not seem important, but it is crucial to find a lawyer from your area as they can find a better way to come to an agreement with the defendant's legal representative. For example, a Little Rock wrongful death lawyer can shorten the whole process by negotiating with another familiar local lawyer about the possible outcomes if they do not agree with your requirements. If you do not solve the case, your legal representative is going to demand going to court.

This process is long and may require many interactions with your lawyer, so it is important to stay calm despite the overwhelming grief, as your lawyer can do little without your conscious participation. Your lawyer will do most of the job, but your presence in court is very important, as it shows how determined you are in getting justice. The trial will start with each side presenting their evidence; the witnesses will then be questioned by both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s side. 

Who Can Initiate Legal Proceedings

There are also some rules on who can file a claim in such situations. It is important to know who has this right and how they can protect it. In most countries, the family is the one who can initiate the procedures, such as parents, siblings, a spouse, or children, but there are also other possibilities. For example, legal representatives can file a claim on behalf of the deceased person.

Understanding the Possible Compensation

Once you get a lawyer, he or she needs to explain to you what compensation you can claim and what the chances are of receiving it are. There are different types of compensation you can claim, so you should carefully consider what is crucial to you at that point. Usually, they are divided into monetary and non-monetary ones. You can claim compensation for medical expenses that occurred before the death of your loved one. Funeral expenses can also be paid this way, as the defendant is responsible for the death. 

How To Protect Your Rights

Possible Challenges

The whole process is of course not as simple as it may sound, it can be extremely complicated as some unexpected problems can occur. However, even if you are faced with them, do not give up and listen to your lawyer’s advice, as they are familiar with all possible challenges. The most difficult thing is proving the defendant is actually responsible for the death.

This can be an extremely challenging and long process, as the defendant will do anything to get out of the whole situation. Also, one of the frequent challenges is the bribing of the witnesses. You have to make sure the witnesses are reliable and that they cannot be manipulated or scared. Even if the whole case ended in your favor, the defendant can appeal the decision, leading to further trials and delays. 

Losing someone you love can leave you in a state of complete devastation. Your life will never be the same and nothing you do can bring them back. However, if their death happened due to someone’s fault, you have to do something to prevent any additional suffering and pursue justice. Taking legal action against the defendant will help you do that, as the whole legal process is extremely expensive and may destroy their reputation so that everyone knows what they did.

Of course, you cannot go through everything by yourself so besides the support of your loved ones, you also need legal support. Having a competent wrongful death lawyer is crucial for an effective outcome, but you should also believe him or her in dealing with everything you are not capable of because of your grief. We hope this article has helped you find important information on who can file a claim and how to do it, along with what to expect and what to claim.