Losing someone you love is a traumatic experience. And the trauma becomes even more serious if the death resulted from the negligence of another person. If the person you lost is the family’s main provider, your family is left with financial troubles. But, the person who caused the death is likely to have a liability for the damages such as the loss of the future income, funeral costs and medical expenses. Because it’s a complex process to file a successful lawsuit, you need a good North Miami Beach wrongful death lawyer. When filing a wrongful death claim, here are some tips to help you.
Look for the Right Personal Representative
The estate representative of the deceased is the rightful person to file a wrongful death claim. The person can file on behalf of the deceased or the surviving family members. Also, the representative will collect some documents or compel their release with a subpoena provided by a court.
Typically, people pick their own representatives in their estate plans, wills or trusts. But, in case no representative was appointed by the deceased, somebody with the eligibility to take the responsibility may be appointed by the court.
Collect Crucial Records
A personal representative is tasked to gather vital documents and records which will be needed for the lawsuit. Due to privacy and safety laws, such records should be collected by the person. Such records are important to determine liability and assess your claim. These documents include the following:
- Death certificate. This paper proves the death of your loved one. Immediate family members can access this record. It details the time and date of the death and includes information on what caused the death.
- Report and findings from the Office of the Medical Examiner. Sometimes, the death’s cause may not be cited on the death certificate. The good thing is that the Office of the Medical Investigator can provide you a more extensive report. Such findings may be used for highlighting a discrepancy or supporting the death certificate.
- Incident reports. Depending on the kind of accident which killed your loved one and the place of occurrence, there are different reports to gather. The death will be formally investigated by the police who will then write an incident report.
Talk to your Lawyer when Talking to the Insurer
A representative from the defendant’s insurance company will contact you for some information. Avoid giving details without the presence of your lawyer. The company will not give you a fair payout; rather, look for ways for disputing your claim or decreasing the settlement.