Death is something that you cannot prepare for, and even when you do, it will often still come as a surprise for the most part. In cases of an untimely death, this causes even more emotional turmoil. As overwhelming as this situation can be, it is important to understand how best to approach a situation where wrongful death has occurred. This will come in handy if you find yourself in such a situation that you might be struggling to process.
What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death lawsuits are lawsuits that are put through by the family members of a deceased individual who has passed due to incompetencies and not due to their own actions. This is their opportunity to seek financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. Although the loss of a person is never going to feel compensated for, the financial assistance can help with the costs that will arise after a person’s death and the loss of income to their family.
What To Do
If you suspect that someone has passed away as a result of someone else’s faults, you have the ability to take legal actions to make a case for wrongful death. You must be a family member to be able to apply for a wrongful death case. You will sign a piece of paper at a hospital or doctor’s office that states you are a family member of the deceased, and they are legally obliged to turnover such information regarding the death. With those medical records in hand, you may review that information to see if there is a rightful cause of action that can take place.
Is An Autopsy Required?
In a wrongful death case, an autopsy is not legally required to file a lawsuit. In the first few days after the death of a person, an autopsy is not often performed. It may take several days to finalize that investigation. However, you can file for a wrongful death claim in the meantime, pursuing legal actions that utilize many other means from medical records to expert testimony to help clarify and find evidence that links that person’s death to negligence. The autopsy can then act as a means of reaffirming or supporting other evidence that has been found at a later time.
Taking Legal Action
If you suspect wrongful death has occurred, and you decide to take legal action to inquire and investigate the matters, you need to consider how to proceed. Of course, you are permitted to do this on your own, but it may be in your best interests to reach out to legal advisors and professionals. The legal experts at this Richmond, Virginia law firm will inform any client and interested party that law professionals will have a much stronger grasp and understanding of the laws in question. Especially when it comes to wrongful deaths, and potentially work related mortalities, it is advisable to seek out lawyers that have worked within that specific specialization. There are many different paths of law that have subtle but important intricacies that need to be considered when representing any case.
Benefits And Heirs
When it comes to the death of a person, there will be the matter of inheritance as well as a payout for both insurance benefits and wrongful death claims. Settling these matters is dependent on who is living in connection with the deceased. Any heirs of the deceased may be entitled to these benefits, as well as the living spouse of the deceased individual. If a person is single, not married, and does not have any children, their primary family members, being parents and siblings, may have a claim to any such benefits as well.
It is important for such beneficiaries for these reasons to keep your will and testament updated for changes in any event of an untimely passing. In a wrongful death case, money does not have to be divided equally. Most families will be able to come to an agreement on how to distribute the finances, but if they cannot do so, it may be brought to a court hearing where a judge will determine the relationship each person has to the deceased party and what they are entitled to.
If a case or situation of wrong death has occurred, you need to ensure that you take all the necessary precautions in approaching the situation. You need to act quickly and effectively in order to gather the facts and information for your case, and seeking legal help is always an added benefit to consider.