In the immediate wake of an accident leading to wrongful death, it is essential that the decedent’s loved ones take definitive steps to collect and preserve evidence and their right to a claim for compensation. That means that if the death occurred as a result of an auto accident, potential plaintiffs should make sure that the vehicles involved are not destroyed or sold at auction so that an expert can be hired to inspect them. Almost all motor vehicles now have black box data which can provide a wealth of information about what happened in the accident. Key information that can be obtained this way includes the speeds that the vehicles were going, whether the airbags deployed, or the change in velocity of the vehicles themselves.
That information must be collected before the insurance companies dispose of, destroy it, or sell the vehicles. In every kind of wrongful fatality case, witnesses must be interviewed immediately before they forget the details of what they saw.
Because the decedent is not able to tell their loved one, their attorney, or the judge and jury what happened, the evidence must strongly demonstrate what happened in the accident. The first step in filing a lawsuit in the wake of a loved one’s untimely passing is hiring a St. Petersburg wrongful death attorney. With a seasoned unjust death lawyer at your side, you could ensure that your case has every chance of succeeding in court.
Why is it Important to Engage an Experienced Attorney Early in the Process?
Plaintiffs in St. Petersburg should hire an experienced wrongful death attorney because the relevant statutes are very complex. An attorney without experience handling wrongful death litigation may miss certain specific recoverable damages that could be available to surviving family members.
There are two different questions when a person has died in Florida because of negligence. First, it must be determined if there is negligence that caused the death. If there is, is the case still within the statute of limitations?
An attorney has to fully understand the law regarding these matters because the decedent is not able to assist and first-hand accounts may be difficult to come by. That investigation must be done promptly, and experts may need to be hired to successfully demonstrate the defendant’s liability.
The statutes and regulations regarding wrongful death and survival actions are very complex in terms of what can be claimed on behalf of the decedent and what can be claimed on behalf of the survivors. The type and value of damages may change based on the age and status of the decedent, as well as the ages and status of the survivors. It is very difficult for an attorney who does not have experience in handling wrongful death claims to adequately represent a personal representative or prosecute a wrongful death case. Acting quickly is essential to preserving evidence and aggressively negotiating with insurance companies.
What Characteristics Should Surviving Family Members Look for in a Wrongful Death Attorney?
The most important characteristic in a wrongful death attorney is finding someone who is experienced in that type of wrongful death claim. There are many different types of negligent wrongful death lawsuits. There can be motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice mistakes, workplace injuries, and even criminal actions which may have led to the fatality.
Let an Attorney Help Your Family Seek Justice
An attorney who typically does motor vehicle accidents may not be qualified to do a motor vehicle wrongful death case because the investigation is different and the damages are much different. The survivor damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit are much different than the survivor damages in a motor vehicle wrongful death lawsuit.
The first step to getting justice for your deceased loved one and securing compensation for your family is hiring a St. Petersburg wrongful death attorney. To start work on your case, call today and schedule a consultation.