In our line of work here at Cutter Law P.C., we get asked a lot of hard questions regarding the complicated legal process in the United States. One question, however, stands out as something that even the most hardened attorney has trouble answering. That question is: What should you do if you’ve experienced a wrongful death in the family?”
As you can see, that is quite a difficult question to answer, even if you’re not a wrongful death attorney. Yet, our attorneys have a lot of potentially helpful advice to give our clients regarding what they should do after experiencing a death in the family, especially when that death happened due to negligence or medical malpractice. So, if you’ve recently suffered a wrongful death in the family, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s discuss what our attorneys say you should do following in those situations.
Step 1 - Ensure Your Eligibility To File A Wrongful Death Claim
As we discussed on our Sacramento wrongful death lawyers page, not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in the state of California. The only people allowed to file a claim (barring extenuating circumstances) are the following:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased
- A domestic partner of the deceased
- Any living children of the deceased
If the deceased doesn’t have a spouse, partner, or surviving children, then the right to file a claim passes to anyone else entitled to the deceased person’s estate. Usually, those authorized include siblings of the deceased or their parents.
Step 2 - Contact Our Wrongful Death Attorneys And File A Claim As Soon As Possible
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in California is two years. So, filing a claim should be the first thing you do after determining your eligibility. There is paperwork, gathering evidence, and other details to address before actually filing the claim. Therefore, the sooner you speak with one of our wrongful death attorneys, the easier that process will be. So, save yourself (and us) some headaches and contact our attorneys for a consultation today.
Step 3 - Avoid Communicating With The Defendant
Unfortunately, insurance companies and the defendant’s lawyers will often attempt to goad the plaintiff into disclosing information or taking a settlement. In short, please don’t fall victim to their predatory tactics. If the “other side” attempts to communicate with you, don’t do so alone. Either bring our attorneys into the mix or avoid the conversation entirely. You are under no obligation to consult with the defendant, their representation, or their insurance company outside the courtroom. Just don’t do it.
Step 4 - Do Not Accept A Low Settlement
As we mentioned above, the defendant and their representation may attempt to goad you into taking actions inadvisable by your personal attorney. One of the most common ways they do this is by offering seemingly enticing settlements. However, the settlements on offer most often fall short of compensating victims as much as they deserve. Moreover, those settlements often fail to cover basic expenses associated with a wrongful death (hospital bills, funeral costs, etc.). So, to save yourself, speak with your wrongful death attorney first. They’ll advise you on your best course of action.
Well, there you have it, the Cutter Law P.C. guide on what to do if you’ve experienced a wrongful death in the family. To review, if you’ve recently lost a loved one due to the negligence or malpractice of another person, then:
- 1 – Ensure your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim
- 2 – Contact our wrongful death attorneys and file a claim as soon as possible
- 3 – Avoid communicating with the defendant, their insurance provider, or legal representation
- 4 – Do not accept a low settlement without discussing it with your attorney first
When it comes to professional, caring, and aggressive legal representation for wrongful death claims, we’re always the ones to call. So, if you’ve recently suffered a death in the family, especially if that death was due to negligence or malpractice, then contact the well-educated, experienced, and professional wrongful death attorneys at Cutter Law P.C. for a no-obligation consultation today!