Losing a loved one due to someone’s negligence can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to concern yourself with logistics when you are grieving, which is how an attorney can help. There are a number of things that need to be done following the loss of a loved one, and the sooner a wrongful death attorney is retained, the more successful the claim can be in recovery. Seek the counsel of a compassionate wrongful death lawyer that can help you navigate the West Palm Beach wrongful death case process.
Wrongful Death Investigation Process
Firstly, an autopsy may need to be performed. Secondly, additional evidence may need to be gathered and preserved. The investigation process depends on the nature of the claim. For example, if it is an auto accident, the investigation begins with, potentially, an accident reconstruction expert getting to the scene and preserving the physical evidence on the scene. With the passage of time and traffic, the scene can change which is why it is important to get an expert to the scene as soon as possible.
In terms of the cause of death, depending on the nature of the claim, the attorney needs to be able to establish that the death was caused by the alleged negligence. An autopsy may need to be performed. So, depending on the family’s religious beliefs or just their spiritual feelings in terms of how they want to dispose of the body, whether by way of burial, cremation or any other way, these are difficult things that need to be addressed very quickly because of the need to preserve evidence.
Duration of a Wrongful Death Case
It is difficult to say how long the West Palm Beach wrongful death case process takes because it depends on the nature of the claim. Certain factors like liability and how much insurance coverage is available can influence how long the case takes to resolve. By and large, wrongful death claims can take a significant amount of time to resolve, especially in the context of a medical malpractice claim. For example, in a medical malpractice claim, someone cannot even bring the claim for a period of time because of the need to comply with Florida’s medical malpractice statute and the pre-suit process.
Once an attorney has investigated a claim and obtained the necessary expert affidavits, they then initiate pre-suit in which nothing can happen for 90 days in terms of getting a case resolved and the claim is still being investigated during those 90 days. Only after those 90 days expire can the claim move forward. If the case is resolved favorably, it is resolved once the money has been marshaled through the estate and then through the survivors. Once an estate is closed, the wrongful death claim would be concluded.
How Does the Cause of Death Impact the Case?
If somebody has passed away as a result of a catastrophic incident, like a major car wreck in which somebody has basically suffered a death and there are photos of it, certainly, that may present a different picture than a case in which somebody has a heart attack following a surgery. The way in which the death occurs can certainly have an impact on the defendant or the insurance carrier’s view of the need to resolve the case.
Consulting a Wrongful Death Attorney
The statute of limitations in a wrongful death case begins running on the date of the death. In a perfect world, an investigation can begin shortly after a loved one’s passing. Now, in reality, the last thing that is normally on a family’s mind when they lose a loved one is to hire an attorney. It is not often that an attorney is hired or gets involved right away, but the sooner a wrongful death attorney can get involved, the better. A qualified wrongful death attorney can help individuals navigate the West Palm Beach wrongful death case process so that they can focus on grieving during this difficult time.