UNDERSTANDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AFTER THE DEATH OF A FAMILY MEMBER
INITIATING YOUR WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
PRESERVATION OF EVIDENCE
Our experience has shown that in cases involving a death it is common for large companies and insurance companies for the at fault parties to hire lawyers and investigate an incident before the family of the victim have retained an attorney. That is why it is important to contact an attorney immediately after a death has occurred. An attorney can make sure that important evidence is preserved and witnesses are located.
In certain types of cases, there are specific rules governing how evidence is to be preserved in order for that evidence to be later admissible at trial. If evidence helpful to the wrongful death case is not properly and legally preserved, that evidence may not be allowed before the jury. For these reasons, an attorney should be consulted as soon as possible after a death arising from the negligence of a third party has occurred. Even if it is not clear that the death was the result of negligence or other wrongdoing, it is recommended that you consult an experienced attorney.
PROVING YOUR CASE
In wrongful death cases, the family of the decedent must prove that the wrongdoer owed a duty to the victim, and the wrongdoer breached that duty when they caused the death of the victim. This applies to wrongful death cases arising from an automobile or tractor trailer collision, a person killed on a unsafe premises, a medical malpractice claim against a doctor, and other claims where a person is killed as the result of another person or corporation’s acts or omissions.
Ensuring that the requirements and proof necessary for establishing your wrongful death legal case have been met is another reason why consulting an attorney shortly after a claim arises is recommended. Otherwise, if the legal elements of your case cannot be established with proper admissible evidence, you will have an unfavorable outcome.
PROTECTING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
RESOLVING YOUR CASE
The majority of meritorious wrongful death cases are settled prior to the actual trial of the case. The reason is that the parties, working through experienced legal counsel, can reach an agreement that adequately compensates the victim’s family for the death of a family member, and the ensuing economic consequences of the death that resulted from the wrongdoer.
If adequate compensation is not offered by the wrongdoer to resolve your case, it is important to have counsel that can represent you and try your case to a judge or jury. The attorneys at Rumsey & Ramsey provide to your case such lawyers.
COMPENSATION TO THE FAMILY OF THE VICTIM
Some of the common elements of damages that a surviving family can seek compensation for are past pain and suffering of the victim, lost income, medical expenses, and the full value of the life of the victim. Spouses may also be able to recover for the loss of services of their deceased spouse, which is commonly known as loss of consortium.
What elements of damages you may be entitled to seek and recover in your case is dependent on the facts and the applicable law. This is another reason seeking the advice of seasoned counsel that can properly evaluate your case is of paramount importance.
RETAIN EXPERIENCED COUNSEL
While there are a number of factors that will impact how much compensation you should receive for the death of a loved one, we will meet with you and discuss your case during a free initial consultation.* If after your initial consultation you decide Rumsey & Ramsey should represent you, the firm will represent you on a contingency fee basis.**
At Rumsey & Ramsey, you will have lawyers that have the experience to handle your case from the early crucial stages of preserving evidence and locating witnesses, followed by asserting your rights through the judicial process, and subsequently making sure that you or your family receive fair and just compensation.
Please click Results for a sample of some of the results Rumsey & Ramsey has obtained in different types of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases. Please contact Rumsey & Ramsey at (770) 394-9400 to discuss your case or other legal inquiry with an attorney.
*Free initial consultation only applies to personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage cases.
**Contingent attorneys’ fees refers only to those fees charged by attorneys for their legal services. Such fees are not permitted in all types of cases. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client.
Tractor Trailer Collisions
Premises Liability (Slip and Fall)