The loss of a loved one can be all the more difficult if it was the result of someone else's negligence on the job. In this case, you may need to file a wrongful death claim to ensure you are properly compensated for your loss. While such a claim won't bring back your loved one, the funds can help you through the difficult time – especially if you are inundated with funeral costs or lost income. The following answers can help you navigate the claim process.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
It varies by state, but it will generally have to be either an immediate family member or the personal representative for the estate of the deceased. In states where a claim can only be filed by a personal representative, you will need to request that the court appoint such a representative if the deceased did not have a will with such an appointment in place at the time of their death. Who the court appoints can vary. It may be a family member or it may be a trustee, which is a neutral third party chosen by the court.
What documentation is needed?
For a workplace wrongful death case, you will need copies of all incident reports that were filed as a result of the accident. There can be multiple incident reports from different institutions, as well. For example, there could be both a workplace incident report and a police report if the accident occurred due to a wreck in a company vehicle. You will need copies of both reports.
You will also need a copy of the death certificate and the medical examiner or coroner report. Although similar to the death certificate, the examiner report goes into further details on the cause and manner of death. This is a vital document to the lawsuit proceedings.
Should you talk with the insurance companies?
Often you will hear from the company insurance company soon after the death occurs. They may even offer you a settlement. Avoid accepting anything until you have consulted with an attorney, like one from Allison & Rickards, Attorneys at Law, LLC. If the insurance company does call, tell them that you will put your attorney in touch with them. Take down the contact information for the insurance representative so you can pass it on to an attorney. Your next step will be securing legal representation. Keep in mind that the insurance may continue to call you even after your attorney is in contact. Continue to refer all calls to your representative.Share
8 June 2016
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