Do’s and Don’ts for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California
Losing someone close to you is an incredibly traumatic experience, but the pain of this loss can be especially heartbreaking if their death was the result of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior. While no amount of money can fill the void left behind in your loved one’s absence, filing a personal injury claim can at least ensure that those at fault are held accountable for the damage they’ve done.
However, securing a settlement in a wrongful death claim is never a foregone conclusion. You will need to take many different steps to build a compelling case. To help guide you, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for the days ahead:
Do Reach Out to an Attorney
Wrongful death claims are rarely—if ever—straightforward, so it may be wise to seek out legal counsel. Not only can an attorney help you navigate this challenging chapter of your life, but they can also handle the logistics of your case so that you have the time and space to process your grief.
However, as there can be a drastic difference in the types of representation two attorneys offer, it’s important to do your research. Make sure that you hire someone who has at least some experience—and past wins—handling claims similar to your own. This will ensure that they have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
Don’t Discuss Your Situation with the Insurance Company
While the claims adjuster might seem like they’re on your side, their primary goal is to protect their bottom line. Essentially, they will look to minimize their liability to make sure they pay out as little money as possible.
As such, you can guarantee they will use your statements against you and will probably ask questions intended to elicit specific responses that could be used to challenge your credibility. Thankfully, when you enlist the services of an attorney, he or she can oversee all dialogue with opposing parties so you won’t have to worry about saying something that might hurt your wrongful death case.
Do Gather Proof to Support Your Claim
The success of your case will usually hinge on the strength of your evidence, so it’s important to collect as much proof as possible while it’s still available. Such evidence might include your loved one’s medical records, eyewitness statements, police reports, surveillance camera footage, photographs of the accident scene, and any other documentation that might help you demonstrate liability and damages.
Don’t Post about Your Claim on Social Media
In this difficult chapter of your life, you need all the support you can get. As such, it’s understandable if you want to post about your tragic loss on social media. However, before hitting “publish”, you should take a few minutes to consider the potential consequences for sharing information about your loved one’s death, the accident, or your pending claim.
The insurance adjuster may be monitoring your activity to find any posts that could be used as evidence to dispute your case. As such, it’s wise to disable your accounts so that you aren’t tempted to post anything online. However, if this isn’t possible in your situation, you should at least ramp up your privacy settings to prevent the insurer from accessing your feeds.
Discuss Your Case with a California Wrongful Death Attorney
Need help navigating the claims process? Turn to the legal team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers. Our California wrongful death attorneys can help guide you through proceedings, providing representation and support at every stage. Contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS or by clicking through to our contact page HERE to request a free case review.
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