Losing someone is never easy, but if that someone’s death could have been prevented then it is even harder. If you recently lost a loved one in what you believe to be a wrongful death, owning up to the fact that your life will never be the same can be equally as difficult. We all know how hard it is to find the words to express our emotions after a loss, especially when you feel as though the end was not at all fair.
In most cases of wrongful death, it is up to you and your family to pursue legal action against those responsible for your loved one’s passing. If that sounds like something you are interested in doing then there are several steps you should consider taking immediately.
Find A Reputable Lawyer
One of the first things you should do is find a reputable lawyer to help you through this difficult process. Since the law might be different depending on the state in which your loved one passed, it is highly recommended that you find a lawyer in your area. For example, if your loved one passed away in Georgia, even if you live somewhere else, you will want to find a lawyer who specializes in wrongful death according to the laws of this State. When looking for the right Georgia wrongful death lawyer for your case make sure you check their reputation, as well as their past cases and how successful they were. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference when seeking any legal action, especially when it comes to something as sensitive as wrongful death.
Gather The Necessary Documentation
As soon as you find out that your loved one has passed, the first thing you should do is contact his or her doctor. Have them fill out a statement regarding the death and what they think might have caused it. You should also find out whether or not your loved one was suffering from any pre-existing health conditions before their death, as this can play a key role in your case later on down the road. If there are witnesses who saw how your loved one was treated by medical personnel at any hospitals they were taken to after their passing, then you should ask for statements from these individuals as well. This documentation will be essential during the trial process.
Witnesses can back up your claims that something was or wasn’t done to properly treat your loved one. If you can find several individuals who can validate your claims then this will make it easier for you to win the case and receive the verdict you desire. Now obviously there may be some situations where a witness might not be willing to cooperate out of fear of getting into trouble themselves, but in most cases, people will come forward with information if they know it would help another individual get justice, especially when it comes to wrongdoing on the part of medical staff.
Get The Official Police Report
If law enforcement is involved with the situation surrounding your loved one’s passing, which is more than likely if there was any foul play, then getting the official police report should be your next, and probably most difficult step. Since you will not be able to request this document until two weeks after your loved one’s death, make sure you take care of it as soon as possible. Also, when you request this report, make sure that it comes in written form, with everything legibly typed out. This will be especially helpful when you head to the trial process.
Keep Track of Deadlines and Court Dates
As you might already know, with any type of court case there is one thing that can make or break it: the paperwork. Any paperwork connected to your loved one’s passing should be kept together in an easy-to-find folder; this way when you need to file something new, you will know exactly where it is. Also, since most attorneys do not work for free, make sure you keep track of deadlines and court dates. If your lawyer gives you a certain number of days to get something done then follow through with it immediately, especially if time is of the essence! By keeping everything filed away in one place and giving yourself plenty of time before important roll around, you will be able to focus more of your energy on the actual case, which will most likely make it go a lot smoother.
Lastly, but most certainly not least, it is important to have patience. When taking legal action against someone or some institution it can take a long time for your case to be handled and taken seriously. Depending on the situation this process could last anywhere from one month to several years. You might even need multiple attempts before you can get something substantial done. However, always remember that you are in charge of your life and how you choose to look at things will make all the difference in how successful you are when pursuing any kind of case (the good ones take time).
If your loved one has passed away due to negligence on the part of someone else, then you should immediately take action. Do not let that person or institution get away with how they have hurt you and your family. Follow the steps above and you will be well on your way to winning a wrongful death case and getting the justice you deserve.