What If A Death From An Accident is Wrongful?

Posted on: 23 December 2018

The idea that somebody could have done something to prevent an accident from resulting in death can be unsettling to think about. If you're worried that you lost a loved one under such circumstances, you can seek a consultation with a wrongful death accident attorney. In order to focus your time with counsel on the matter at hand, it's a good to learn the answers to the following questions before you go.

What if No One Was Charged?

Under American law, the civil tort of a wrongful death is considered a totally separate thing from the criminal charges of murder or manslaughter. It is possible that a person could be charged and also face a wrongful death suit, but there are many cases where only a wrongful death claim is pursued.

Why is that? First, the standard for convicting a person of a crime is higher. A prosecutor has to decide whether the state can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone's actions caused the death of another human being. In civil suits, wrongful death accident lawyers only have to demonstrate that their version of events is the most likely one. Second, not all wrongful deaths are inherently criminal. A drunk driver, for example, might have done more to avoid driving while intoxicated, but that doesn't presuppose that they meant to kill somebody.

How Do I Pursue a Claim?

In most accident cases, motorists will be covered by some sort of insurance. This means that the majority of the interaction, unless there's a major impasse, will be negotiations between the wrongful death accident attorney who took your case and the insurance carrier for the responsible party.

To start, you should focus on collecting all the available information before submitting a claim. Your lawyer will assemble statements from first responders and police reports, and even model how the accident happened. Only once you have a full idea of how things unfolded will you then present the insurance company with a letter informing them of your intent to seek compensation.

An adjuster will be assigned to the claim, and they will decide what amount they feel works best for the company while also encouraging you to settle. Your counsel will inform you of any offer, and then they will explain whether they feel it's satisfactory. Only if negotiations fail will you then consider a full-on lawsuit.

Reach out to a local attorney to figure out if you have a case.