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There is perhaps no more brutal pain that a parent can endure than to lose their child. After losing a child, parents often experience a wide range of emotions. A parent’s pain can be magnified if the death of their child was due to the negligent actions of another, meaning that their death may have been preventable. While there is nothing that could come close to making up for the loss of your child, wrongful death statutes in each state may help compensate parents for their loss, and a child fatality wrongful death lawyer may be able to help.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A CHILD FATALITY
Parents of children who have died in a wrongful death accident are likely to be in a very emotionally turbulent place. When you are grieving your child, the last thing that you may want to do is try to haggle with an attorney over settlement amounts. This is where it may be helpful to have an understanding of the typical process through a few basic steps. An experienced wrongful death lawyer may be able to step in and relieve the stress of handling a legal case from your shoulders.
1. Contact an Experienced Attorney
As soon as possible, speak to a child fatality wrongful death attorney in your area. An attorney may be able to help you assess your legal situation and determine your options for pursuing compensation. They may also be able to take the burden of a legal case from you and allow you to focus on the grieving process.
It is important to contact the right attorney. When looking for an attorney to handle your case, make sure to find someone who isn’t already overloaded with clients and who won’t be able to spend the time on your case that it deserves. Our attorneys provide each of our clients the attention to detail they deserve. You should hire an attorney who has handled similar cases and has access to extensive to support your case.
A parent losing a child is one of the most painful experiences imaginable. Thus, it is important to go through the grieving process in a healthy way. As terrible as it sounds, there may be opposing parties who look to take advantage of parents in an emotional state to get them to quickly accept a settlement offer that is lower than what they may be entitled to. This means that it is important that you are in a healthier headspace before you accept any offer. Your attorney may be able to ensure you meet the deadline to file your wrongful death claim.
3. Investigate and Document
After you have hired an attorney, they may be able to begin the process of investigating the wrongful death claim. This investigation will differ greatly from case to case, but generally, it may include speaking with any potential witnesses, researching the case law and statutes that might apply to the situation, and analyzing photos or videos of the accident if they are available.
For the parent of a wrongfully deceased child, it is important to document everything as thoroughly as possible at every step of the way. This includes gathering or requesting copies of medical records, contact information for opposing parties and witnesses, and any other information that may be relevant. Remember, at this stage, it is better to be overprepared than underprepared.
4. Negotiate a Settlement
Once your attorney has a handle on the details of your specific claim, they may be able to begin engaging in settlement negotiations with the other parties involved. This step of the process is very important because this is your opportunity to negotiate how much compensation you are entitled to. At this stage, your attorney should have the experience to be able to properly assess and value your claim and present it persuasively.
HOW MAY AN ATTORNEY HELP?
An experienced child fatality wrongful death attorney can help you in two general ways—giving advice to you as the client, and then fighting and advocating for your position to the other parties who are involved in the case.
At the outset of a case, you will likely be feeling lost and confused. The legal process, especially for those who have not been through it before, can be very confusing. An attorney might be able to step in and give a basic idea of how the process works. From there, they may listen to the details of your case and give you an idea of what your case might be worth based on their experience with similar cases and understanding of the law.
Once you have hired an attorney, then they might be able to handle all of the communications with the other parties. Legal claims can be delicate, so be careful in making statements to the other party or their insurance adjusters. Insurers sometimes try to elicit statements that could be very damaging for your claim. An attorney may prevent those sorts of damaging statements. An experienced attorney may help ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of as they fight for compensation on your behalf.
WHAT COMPENSATION MAY I SEEK FROM A CHILD’S WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
Pursuing a wrongful death claim for a child is a bit different than a typical personal injury claim. Generally, in personal injury claims, an accident victim will attempt to seek compensation for negligent actions done against them. However, a child’s wrongful death claim involves a parent seeking compensation for the death of their child. Every case is different, and the damages available will vary by state, but parents generally may be able to seek damages such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs incurred prior to death
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship and love
- Mental anguish and suffering
ECONOMIC AND NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES
One important distinction to keep in mind in a wrongful death case for a child is the difference between economic and non-economic damages. Both may be available, but they serve different purposes and require different arguments.
Economic damages are objective, quantifiable expenses. They compensate the surviving family members for economic losses. These may include funeral and burial expenses, medical costs, and any loss of financial support. Economic damages will typically be proven through receipts, bills, and pay stubs.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may be more important in calculating damages in a child wrongful death case than in other types of personal injury cases. This is because children often don’t have jobs to support their families, but the pain of losing a child is severe. Non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering that you experience as a result of an accident. Again, in these cases, non-economic damages could be higher than in other types of personal injury claims.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT A CHILD WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM
Who is Liable?
Establishing liability is a critical part of any case, as only liable parties will be legally obligated to pay anything in damages. Depending on the type of accident, there is a wide range of parties who could potentially be liable, but to put it simply, the liable party is the person or entity whose negligent or purposeful act resulted in the death of your child.
Who Can I Seek Compensation From?
The general answer is that you will generally be able to seek compensation from a party who is deemed liable. This may become more complicated, however, if multiple parties are involved or if there is insurance coverage in play. Your attorney may be able to give you a more accurate picture of where compensation may be available.
Do I Have to Go to Trial?
Most cases settle before they reach the trial stage. Going to trial is expensive and time-consuming, so parties often try to reach a settlement agreement before going to trial. However, if you are unable to reach a satisfactory settlement agreement with the at-fault party, going to trial may be the best option for seeking maximum compensation.
Do I Have to Testify?
You may need to testify to establish non-economic damages during a trial. As a grieving parent, you may want to express to the judge and jury how the loss of your child has impacted you. Your attorney may be able to prepare you and offer tips and techniques for getting through difficult testimony.
How Long Does It Take to Reach Settlement?
This question is difficult to answer without the specific details of your case, but it is important to know at the outset that the legal process involves many steps and will likely drag on longer than you may expect. Wrongful death cases in particular can become complicated and require months, if not years, to reach a complete resolution.
OUR WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEYS MAY FIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
If your child was killed in an accident due to the negligence of another, then the wrongful death attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you pursue justice. We believe that parents of child accident victims shouldn’t have to worry about their ability to afford legal representation, which is why you don’t pay us anything until we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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