The loss of a loved one is one of the most tragic experiences anyone has to endure. Survivors are left not only to grieve for the deceased but to shoulder the financial burden brought about by the individual’s death. Eligible family members have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit if negligence was the cause of death.
However, this is not something that should be done without the assistance of experienced counsel. The Queens wrongful death attorneys of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. can represent you and your family with the professionalism and compassion you deserve.
Understanding the law and various rules
Perhaps the most obvious reason you need a wrongful death attorney is to have someone who understands the law. Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury claims, the difference of course being that the victim died as a result of his or her injuries. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of the deceased victim files a lawsuit against the party that was responsible for the victim’s death.
Your lawyer will work to prove the following required elements:
- The victim died due to the negligent conduct of another party
- Had the victim survived, he or she could have had the right to start a personal injury lawsuit because of the injuries suffered due to the above-mentioned negligence
- Eligible survivors of the deceased victim have suffered damages because of the death
Other than the applicable statute, there are a number of other rules that go along with a wrongful death lawsuit. A knowledgeable attorney will understand:
- The kinds of damages that are, and are not, available in a wrongful death lawsuit (which are similar but not identical to those in personal injury claims)
- The rules of evidence that concern what types of items are relevant in a lawsuit, how to have those items admitted in court, and more
- The rules of civil procedure that govern the steps needed to file and litigate a claim
- Certain local court administrative rules that must be followed
Failure to abide by these and other rules could jeopardize your wrongful death lawsuit, and perhaps even result in it being dismissed. You want to make sure an attorney who has handled such matters is representing you.
Building a case and expert witnesses
A skilled wrongful death attorney understands the evidence it takes to build a case. Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death and will use the discovery process to acquire the proof needed to support your claim. Discovery describes the use of various tools to request information and evidence from other parties involved in the case, and as the plaintiff, you will likely receive requests as well.
Expert witnesses are often necessary to develop a wrongful death lawsuit. These are individuals with specialized knowledge about complex subjects who can explain key information and evidence to a jury. One example is an accident reconstructionist, an expert witness who can describe how a deadly automobile accident happened and thereby establish the at-fault party’s negligent conduct.
Negotiating with the insurance company
There’s a good chance that the liable party’s insurance company will try to settle the wrongful death lawsuit outside of court. One thing to keep in mind is that if the case settles, you won’t get to ask for more damages later. So your attorney will understand a fair settlement amount to negotiate and will explain the benefit of a potential settlement versus the risk of going to trial.
Count On Our Dedicated Wrongful Death Litigation Team
Wrongful death lawsuits demand a legal team that will stand up for the rights of the victim’s family and help them win the maximum compensation available under the law. Our firm is ready to go to work for you. If you’ve lost someone because of another party’s negligence, contact our firm to learn more about your legal options. Call Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. today.