A wrongful death is a claim usually brought forward by the family of a deceased person against someone who they allege is liable for their loved one’s death. This process is never easy for either party.
The actions of the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit can be emotionally charged as they deal with their loss and seek justice for the deceased. The defendant may be feeling a sense of guilt, shame, or loss themselves and put forth a valid defense in civil court.
If you are seeking a wrongful death lawsuit as the result of the loss of a loved one, the law around such a case can be complex, leaving you feeling hopeless and frustrated. Luckily there are attorneys that can assist you through the process. Below are ways one can help you get the outcome you seek and deserve in a wrongful death case.
1. Determine Eligibility
You have lost a loved one as the result on someone else’s actions, that much is obvious. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex and even if you think it is pretty straight-forward, you need to determine whether you are eligible to receive compensation for a wrongful death before proceeding.
To be successful with your lawsuit, you need to hire an attorney because he/she will be able to determine whether you are eligible to receive compensation. In Ontario, there are certain criteria that you need to prove. These include showing that you are next of kin, the defendant was liable, you have endured a loss of income, and your deceased loved one was not at fault. An attorney can look at the circumstances of your case and will decide either that your case has the elements to be successful and should be pursued or if more information and evidence is needed.
When it comes to the death of your loved one, chances are you are still recovering from the loss and you have never pursued a wrongful death case before. Therefore, you need a skilled wrongful death lawyer who is experienced with the law and how it applies to wrongful death cases.
As stated, an attorney can look at your case and decide whether it is strong. This includes deciding whether or not to pursue more evidence that will better substantiate your case. The attorney that you hire knows what types of evidence are effective in such cases and can play a role in obtaining it, including police reports, medical records, and statements from experts or witnesses. Your attorney is also experienced with all procedures and documentation and will be able to represent your interests in court if the case goes to trial.
3. Assistance with settlement
Before filing your wrongful death lawsuit, it is crucial that you put some thought into the amount of compensation you are asking for. The amount should be fair and able to cover all costs that you need assistance with. However, it should not be too high or your case may be viewed as greedy and dismissed.
The amount of compensation that you ask for should take into account factors such as loss of income, loss of quality of life, and medical and burial costs. The attorney that you hire will be able to help you take into account such factors and come up with a dollar amount that will meet your present and future needs. In the event an offer to settle is made by the defendant, your attorney can represent your interests when meeting with them and ultimately advise you to accept, reject, or counter the offer that you receive.