Losing a loved one is a painful life experience, and one most people dread going through. When it does happen it can be made even worse knowing that the reason for their death was entirely preventable. When your loved one dies due to someone else’s carelessness, your first thought usually isn't taking legal action. You're more focused on grieving and tying up that person's loose ends.
When someone you love has died because of the carelessness of a business, a drunk driver, or medical negligence however, it's possible for the family of the deceased to take legal action.
Unfortunately, you often need to take steps immediately in order to achieve justice. If your parent, child, or other close relative was taken away from you too early, here are the steps you need to take right away:
1. Get a Copy of the Death Certificate
You'll need this in order to continue any further, as proof of death is a necessary part of a wrongful death case. This can be done by a family member at the Department of Health.
2. Contact an Attorney
An attorney can help you through all of the steps you need to take to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. They can advise you of the strength of your case, help you collect evidence, and help provide clear thinking during a grief stricken time. Sometimes, such as in the case of medical malpractice, it can be hard to tell if it was genuinely wrongful death, or if it was a bad accident. An attorney can help.
3. Collect Evidence
It's possible that the police will collect some evidence in the case of a drunk driver, but in many cases that evidence collection is up to you. Taking pictures, saving receipts, and any other evidence related to the wrongful death is important. These pieces of evidence will help the court discern what happened, and give them the proof they need to decide that it is a wrongful death.
An attorney can help you here, calling witnesses, pushing to get documentation, and perhaps even hiring relevant professionals to help paint a detailed picture. All of these things may be necessary to help win the case.
4. Know the Statute of Limitations
You need time to grieve, but there is only a short length of time you have to pursue legal action. The length of time varies from state to state. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Ohio is two years from the date the victim died or from the date it was discovered that the death was wrongful. Even if the statute of limitations isn't up, often by the time the family decides to take action, much of the evidence has already disappeared. If you even think that you may want to press a lawsuit, you need to begin collecting evidence right away.
An attorney who handles wrongful death lawsuits can help you make the right decisions and guide you through the process. Your loved one deserves justice, and if they’re gone due to the carelessness of another, you have been robbed of their time, love, and often financial support.
Contact Seaman & Associates today, and begin the steps to bring justice for you and your family.