Suddenly losing someone you love in a traffic accident is as terrible as life can be. However, this is the reality of many families in the United States.
Federal Highway Administration statistics show that there were around 33,000 fatal road accidents in 2019 alone. Over 36,000 people were killed in these accidents. A significant number of them are considered unlawful death. In the same year, for example, the NHTSA reported that 10,142 road deaths were caused by drunk driving. That is almost a third of all road deaths!
Therefore, although the loss of a loved one is a gruesome experience, it is important that the family left behind fight for the rights of the deceased. Not only is this good for you as a family, but also for the millions of people out there who have also lost loved ones to avoidable traffic accidents. Because every time someone is convicted of culpable homicide, that is one less ruthless person on our streets. This gives you the justice you deserve while protecting the community at large.
However, the process of seeking justice can be very overwhelming. The fact that you are also trying to heal your loved one’s emotional wound of death does not make things any better.
With this guide, we hope to make the process a little less stressful for you. We will give you a clear direction of what to expect in this difficult time as you seek justice.
Understand the cause of the accident
The first step in preparing your wrongful death lawsuit is to investigate the accident. You need to get to the bottom of the cause of the crash and gather all the necessary evidence. This should help you build a strong case that will enable you to get the justice you deserve.
Police officers are usually the first to investigate the crime scene. The law requires that you document the most important details of the accident on the so-called CR-3 form. This form contains a lot of information that should be part of your evidence.
Some of the data collected in this document are:
- Date and place of the accident
- Identifying details about the people and vehicles involved in the accident, e.g. B. the license plate of the car and the names of the drivers, passengers, pedestrians and everyone else involved in the accident.
- Those involved in the accident receive medical care. It also records whether the victim still died on the scene.
- Drivers drug test results
- Damage to the crime scene as determined by the police officer
In some cases, the Department of Transportation can also send investigators to the crime scene. This usually happens when the accident requires detailed information forensic investigations. The specialists can also help with the reconstruction of the accident.
Don’t worry if the department doesn’t do any reconstructions. Families of unlawful fatalities are allowed to hire an accident reconstructor to reconstruct the scene. This is a good option when the cause of the accident is not clear. It will help you get the forensic evidence you need on your case.
In general, an unlawful death accident can be caused by any of the following:
- Distracted driving
- Driving drunk
- Aggressive driving
- Driving without a valid driver’s license
- Over speeding
- Road construction
Hire legal help
As you can imagine, processing an unlawful death lawsuit takes a great deal of dedication and effort. Even gathering evidence can be very overwhelming for a family already in grief. So you have to bring one with you Unlawful Death Attorney on board. And not just any lawyer, but a qualified and experienced one. The lawyer will help you in many ways. First, they collect all the evidence you need on your case. These professionals handle similar cases on a daily basis. They know what evidence to look for and how to get it.
Unlawful death attorneys also have the connections to put you in touch with the specialists you need on your case. For example, they can find the right accident reconstructor who can recreate the crime scene in court.
Third, the lawyers understand the legal process. They know what to submit and when. You know all the deadlines that affect your case. Knowing this, you can be sure that they will smooth the entire process for you. More importantly, they use their expertise to increase your chances of having a successful process.
After all, the lawyer will reduce your workload and save you a lot of time. After losing a loved one in an accident, the last thing you want is to come to terms with the details of the accident over and over again. These details can have a profound impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing. What you need and deserve is to get the case resolved asap and focus on your family’s recovery.
A lawyer will help you with this by covering the essential details of the case.
So when should you hire the lawyer? The simple answer is immediate. A lawyer can do more for you by getting involved as early as possible in the process. Bring them in while the evidence is fresh. Trust me; You don’t want your lawyer to catch up with the opposing lawyer. That hurts your chances more than you think.
How do you hire the right lawyer? Here are four simple considerations to help you find the right lawyer for your case:
Experience is critical in unlawful death. Remember, this is a very delicate lawsuit, so you don’t want to put your case in the hands of an inexperienced man. It’s also important to narrow down the experience. Don’t just go to a lawyer with 10 years of practical experience. Pick one who has 10 years of unlawful death experience. Better yet, try to find someone skilled in litigation involving unlawful death from car accidents. Ideally, you want to hire a lawyer to help you resolve the case as soon as possible. But you should also be able to go to court if necessary.
In this case, many details have to be exchanged back and forth. For this to happen properly, both parties must have excellent communication skills. So make sure that the lawyer you hire is easy to reach and communicates well. They should be able to give you updates as they happen. You should also address any concerns you have about settlements and other issues.
Law is a busy profession. In fact, you will find that almost every lawyer you contact has similar pending cases. Knowing that other victims trust them can be a good sign. However, the lawyer must also be available for your case. Hire an attorney who has time for you. One that you can pick up when needed. They don’t have to be on the phone 24/7, but they should definitely make time for you.
What do other lawyers say about your lawyer? And what are the ratings of your previous customers? Be sure to go through an attorney’s reviews and testimonials before using their services.
Knowing what to expect when your case goes to court is important. First, let me point out that this is not going to be the most pleasant experience of your life.
First, various painful details about the accident itself are discussed. Your attorney can even show you the CCTV footage showing the final moments in your loved one’s life. It’s going to be a tough time for you, but it’s all a necessary part of the process. You should also prepare for the opposing attorney’s counter arguments. Some of their arguments will seem ridiculous and ignorant to you, but you may need to go through them all.
Perhaps the most painful part will be seeing the person who took the life of your loved one. Prepare for the waves of emotion that you will go through during this time. Your lawyer and family should help you with this process. At the end of the fall, several things can happen. The guilty driver could be found guilty and sentenced to prison if the local prosecutor pushed for criminal charges.
With regard to compensation, you have the following options:
- Medical expenses: Sometimes an accident can leave your loved one in the hospital for days or even weeks before they die. This leaves your family with heavy medical bills. The right to wrongful death should include medical expenses incurred while the deceased was hospitalized.
- Funeral Expenses and Funeral Expenses: The entitlement also covers funeral expenses and funeral expenses.
- Pain and suffering: If the deceased was in hospital for a long time before his death, your family can apply for compensation for pain and suffering.
- Loss of income: Your lawyer will sit down with experts and calculate the wages that your loved one has lost due to the unlawful death. These wages are included in the entitlement.
- Loss of services: You can also apply for the loss of services if the deceased was a vital part of the family. For example, if you were responsible for bringing up children or caring for an older family member, the lost benefits must be compensated in the entitlement.
The process of seeking justice for a loved one lost in a car accident is painful. It can also take a long time. However, with the right experts by your side, this process should feel less stressful and overwhelming.