Dealing with the death of a loved one is heartbreaking. It's even more difficult when you suspect it could have been caused by neglect or abuse. Because your loved one can't speak for themselves anymore, it's your right and your responsibility to correct any wrongs that might have occurred. Here are some tips to prepare for a wrongful death case.
1. Obtain proof of neglect or abuse
The first step to winning a wrongful death case is proving that someone actually did something wrong. You must prove three things:
- the defendant had a responsibility
- the defendant did not fulfill their responsibility
- the failure to fulfill said responsibility is what caused the death of the victim
When these three things have been established, you have a case! That may be harder than it appears, though. Be proactive and look into the care your loved one is receiving at a nursing home or in a hospital before anything happens. Be sure to document anything you feel is a problem and take action before it's too late. Unfortunately, there are plenty of situations in which you won't be able to prevent death from happening.
2. Act quickly
You may be grieving after the death of the victim, but you still need to move forward with the lawsuit as quickly as possible. Different states have different time restraints to file a case. Also, the longer you wait, the harder it can be to prove your case.
3. Talk to an attorney
The first step to taking action after you suspect a wrongful death is to talk to a lawyer. They can tell you if they think you have a solid case and how to move forward. The situation can be overwhelming, and your lawyer can help simplify it and get things started. They can also educate you on what to expect throughout the process.
4. Set a goal
Unfortunately, no judge can order a person back to life. However, there are things that can be done to make up for their untimely departure. First, you could potentially receive a monetary settlement to assist you and anyone else who was affected with any financial burdens the death put on your shoulders. Other times, you can ask for a change in policy to ensure that this never happens to anyone else. Talk to a lawyer that provides wrongful death attorney services about your goal, and they can help you realize it.