The death of a loved one because of any cause can be devastating at any time. The death of a loved one from accident related to another person’s negligence comes with additional heartbreak and other emotions.
If the deceased contributed to the household income, the death may leave you struggling to cover day-to-day living expenses due to the loss of income. In addition, you may be left with medical bills related to your loved one’s treatment prior to death, as well as any funeral costs.
This is not even mentioning the mental anguish and other noneconomic loss. It’s hard to put a price on this, but it should be accounted for if you plan to file legal action against the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s death.
A wrongful death attorney can help make sure you are compensated fairly for economic and noneconomic damages related to your loved one’s death, while handling unpleasant negotiations with insurance companies and more.
Survival Action Claim and Wrongful Death Claim
After a loved one’s death, his or her personal representative may continue a personal injury action the decedent started prior to passing; this is called a survival action. This is in addition to a wrongful death claim that benefits the beneficiaries like a spouse, parent, and/or child. Your attorney can help you better understand the types of damages a claim might seek.
A survival action might seek compensation for:
- pain and suffering prior to death;
- medical bills; and
- the decedent’s lost wages while in the hospital prior to death.
A wrongful death action may seek compensation for the beneficiaries’ losses related to the death, which might include mental anguish, loss of society, loss of comfort, loss of parental guidance, etc.
Adequate Evidence is Necessary
Your wrongful death lawyer can also help you collect important evidence that establishes the defendant’s fault and liability. The types of evidence you’ll need to collect can vary greatly from one case to the other. For instance, attorneys may collect medical records that establish a defendant’s actions caused the decedent’s fatal injuries.
Police reports, photographs, and eyewitness statements are other common types of evidence that can establish liability. Meanwhile, a lawyer might secure expert testimony depending on the case, and may collect evidence that is more difficult to ascertain.
For example, if a truck accident is responsible for your loved one’s death, a lawyer can draft and send a spoliation letter to the trucking company instructing it to preserve the trucker’s records, personnel file, truck maintenance reports, and even the truck itself.
Other types of evidence may establish the extent of damages the decedent suffered prior to death, as well as the damages the family is currently experiencing. For instance, an attorney may collect medical records/bills, evidence of earning capacity (pay stubs, etc.), and more depending on the types of damages that are collectible.
Make sure you fully discuss the types of evidence your case requires to establish both fault and the extent of damages.
Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney
If in the Bensalem area and struggling with a personal injury case for a deceased loved one or a wrongful death suit, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Call 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation about filing a wrongful death and/or survival action.