There is nothing worse than losing a loved one in an accident. As we all know, car accidents can come suddenly and without warning, and even a minor accident can be a major life event; but to lose a loved one unexpectedly can be one of the most painful experiences a human being can go through. Whether the death came immediately during the accident, or later on as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, death in an accident is always a devastating event.
If you have lost a loved one in a vehicle accident, there are no words for what you’re going through right now. This is a hard time for you and your family, and we understand that. You may be reeling from the shock of the loss right at this moment. You’re probably looking for closure and a way of making sense of things.
A wrongful death case will never bring back your loved one. It won’t change what has happened or make everything suddenly okay. But it can give you a sense of closure and a sense that justice has been done for your loved one’s loss. If you’ve lost a loved one due to another driver’s negligence, contact The Stoddard Firm today. We have experience with these cases, and we can help you through this process.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is defined as “the taking of the life of an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons.” It covers cases of unintentional actions leading to death—which will be the case with the vast majority of car accidents—but it also includes intentional actions leading to death. Wrongful death is an area of tort law. Wrongful death suits are civil actions filed by the family of the person who was wrongly killed, whether or not criminal charges were made and/or successfully prosecuted.
Differences Between Wrongful Death and Personal Injury
One of the major differences between a case of wrongful death and a personal injury case is that personal injury cases are generally filed by the person who was injured, while wrongful death cases can be filed only by the family of the deceased.
As in a personal injury case, wrongful death cases must prove that the party at fault was negligent, and that this negligence was the cause of the injury that took place. In many other ways, a case for wrongful death works similarly to a case for personal injury.
One of the other main differences is that because of the severity of the case, it takes more time and effort to successfully conclude a case for wrongful death than one for personal injury. Some law firms do not have the resources available to pursue a case for wrongful death with the energy these cases generally call for. If you are considering an action for wrongful death, be sure to check that your attorney has the resources for it.
How Can an Attorney Help?
A good attorney will be able to help you through the process of filing and completing a wrongful death case. Experienced attorneys understand how these cases work. Even more importantly, we know the tactics insurance companies use to avoid having to offer an adequate settlement. An experienced attorney can help you understand how to go about getting the best settlement you can. We’ll work with you to get the financial damages you deserve—and, most importantly, the knowledge that you’ve done all you can to let your loved one rest in peace.
These cases are extremely complex and labor-intensive, so many law firms will not have the resources to handle them properly. However, The Stoddard Firm has the resources and the wherewithal to give you and your family the level of attention these cases require.
What to Do If You’ve Lost Someone
If you’ve lost a loved one, contact an attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured through someone else’s neglect or negligence, you should first seek medical attention. You should also make sure you contact authorities. The Stoddard Firm has years of experience handling injuries, and we even offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call us or contact us online today.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.