We all know that loss is part of the human condition, but losing a loved one is always sorrowful and tragic. When you lose a loved one due to the fault or negligence of another, the sting can hurt even worse because you know the loss could have been avoided. “If only.”

In situations where someone dies unexpectedly due to the carelessness of another, a wrongful death settlement may be permitted. Most people never wish to need the information for how to file a wrongful death lawsuit. And when mourning a loss, it can be challenging to focus on the necessary steps for wrongful death action.

Therefore, we at Strickland and Kendall have put together a quick guide for you to help determine if you have a wrongful death case and give you the next steps of how you should proceed.

What is a wrongful death case?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action brought on behalf of a deceased person. In most cases, if this person had just cause to file a personal injury lawsuit, had they lived, then a wrongful death case applies.

Common law defines wrongful death as an action “by wrongful act, neglect or default.” This means the defendant failed to uphold their duties of care and caused your loved one’s death.

For instance, drivers are expected to drive safely to avoid car accidents, and doctors must prescribe the correct medications. Criminal cases where the killer had malicious intent do not count as wrongful death claims.

An experienced attorney can help collect evidence and witness testimony to prove you and other family members deserve compensation. When one person dies, everyone suffers.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Laws involving who can file a wrongful death claim vary by state. While Alabama and Georgia have a 2-year timeline for the statute of limitations, they allow different parties to proceed in court.

You must be an executor, for example, to begin a wrongful death claim in Alabama and have the right to the victim’s finances after their death.

But even if a state gives a family member the right to file, they may not receive compensation. In state succession laws often dictate who gets paid and who deserves money from your loved one’s death.

Strickland & Kendall: Taking Your Grieving Heart to the Courthouse

The sudden loss of a loved one is a tragedy beyond words. When this loss is compounded by the suspicion of wrongdoing, navigating the legal system can feel daunting. That’s where Strickland & Kendall steps in. Our team of seasoned wrongful death attorneys doesn’t simply handle lawsuits; we champion your family’s cause, every step of the way.

  1. A Listening Ear, a Strategic Mind:
    Schedule a free consultation with a Strickland & Kendall attorney. We’ll listen carefully to your story, gather crucial details, and assess the merits of your case. Unlike many personal injury firms hesitant to invest in litigation, we’re relentless in our pursuit of justice. If your case has merit, we’ll map out a strategic course of action.
  2. Uncovering the Truth:
    Our investigators are relentless fact-finders. They’ll interview witnesses, collect medical records and accident reports, and meticulously build a compelling case. No stone is left unturned, no lead goes cold. Every piece of evidence is vital in ensuring justice is served.
  3. Holding the Negligent Accountable:
    We prepare a watertight complaint, clearly outlining the defendant’s actions and their devastating consequences. With unwavering conviction, we file it before the court, ensuring the responsible party faces the full force of the law.
  4. No Detail Overlooked:
    Discovery is where we uncover the truth. Our skilled attorneys utilize depositions, interrogatories, and document requests to expose the defendant’s negligence and build an unassailable case. While many personal injury firms might shy away from the demands of discovery, we relish the opportunity to expose the truth.
  5. Seeking Fair Compensation:
    While justice is often our paramount goal, we understand the financial hardship inflicted by your loss. We vigorously negotiate for fair compensation that acknowledges the impact on your family, both present and future. However, unlike some firms content with quick settlements, we’re prepared to go the distance to secure the justice you deserve.
  6. In the Courtroom, We Thrive:
    If an out-of-court settlement proves elusive, Strickland & Kendall takes center stage. Our trial-tested attorneys command the courtroom, presenting a compelling narrative supported by irrefutable evidence. We paint a vivid picture of your loss, moving the jury and securing a verdict that reflects the true value of your loved one’s life.
  7. The Fight Doesn’t End There:
    No verdict is final until all legal avenues are exhausted. If necessary, we tenaciously navigate the appeals process, ensuring every legal right is protected. Rest assured, Strickland & Kendall stands by your side, unwavering, until justice prevails.

At Strickland & Kendall, we know grief. We understand the depths of your loss. But we also know the power of justice. Let us be your voice, your champion, your unwavering defender. Contact us today.

Remember, the choice is yours. While many personal injury firms may hesitate to go the distance, Strickland & Kendall embraces the fight. We believe in the power of justice, and we’re not afraid to stand strong in the courtroom. Trust us to honor your loved one’s memory and secure the compensation you deserve.

Navigating the Journey: A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Timeline

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is a shattering event. When such a loss is compounded by the suspicion of wrongdoing, navigating the legal maze can feel overwhelming. Understanding the potential timeline of a wrongful death lawsuit can bring a sense of clarity and control during this difficult time.

The Path to Justice

Initial Consultation (Weeks 1-4):

  • Contact Strickland & Kendall for a free consultation.
  • Share your story and gather crucial details about your case.
  • Our legal team assesses the merits of your case and outlines potential next steps.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering (Months 1-6):

  • Our tenacious investigators gather evidence, interview witnesses, and acquire medical records and accident reports.
  • Every detail is meticulously documented to build a compelling case.

Filing the Complaint and Discovery (Months 6-12):

  • A formal complaint is filed with the court, outlining the cause of action and damages sought.
  • The defendant is identified and notified.
  • Both sides engage in discovery, exchanging information and evidence through depositions, interrogatories, and document requests.

Negotiations and Potential Settlement (Months 12-18):

  • At any point, attempts at reaching an out-of-court settlement may occur.
  • Our skilled negotiators advocate for fair compensation that reflects the impact of your loss.
  • We are prepared to go to trial if a settlement offer is deemed inadequate.

Trial Preparation and Courtroom Battles (Months 18-24+):

  • If no settlement is reached, the case proceeds to trial.
  • Our trial-tested attorneys meticulously prepare, presenting a powerful narrative supported by irrefutable evidence.
  • The jury deliberates and reaches a verdict, awarding damages if they find the defendant liable.

Post-Verdict and Potential Appeals (Ongoing):

  • No verdict is final until all legal avenues are exhausted.
  • If necessary, we tenaciously navigate the appeals process, ensuring every legal right is protected.

Remember: This timeline is an estimate and can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the court system involved. Throughout the process, Strickland & Kendall remain by your side, providing constant communication, unwavering support, and a relentless pursuit of justice.

What damages do judges award in a wrongful death?

Damages is the word for the amount of money that is awarded from a lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, several different types of damages may be granted. All of these types involve money spent or lost due to the incident that caused the death.

Common wrongful death damages include funeral expenses, medical and hospital bills, lost wages. However, a judge can also award compensation for the surviving members’ pain and suffering.

They can receive money for the loss of consortium, or the death of a significant relationship between one or more people. These include marriages or children losing their fathers and mothers to an unexpected accident.

In extreme cases of intentional harm or recklessness, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the wrongdoer. These sometimes apply in cases involving criminal activity or medical malpractice suits where doctors intentionally withheld care.

Punitive damages are usually intended to deter the same type of behavior in the future.

Navigating the Aftermath: Life After a Wrongful Death Verdict

Securing a wrongful death verdict can be a bittersweet victory. While justice has been served, the emotional weight of your loss remains. This section aims to guide you through the immediate aftermath and equip you with the resources to navigate this sensitive transition.

  1. Allow Yourself to Grieve:
    Healing doesn’t happen on a timeline. Acknowledge your emotions, whether it’s relief, anger, or a complex mix of both. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist. Don’t shy away from seeking professional grief counseling if needed.
  2. Understand the Financial Implications:
    The awarded damages should provide financial stability and compensation for your loss. However, navigating legal fees, taxes, and potential investments can feel overwhelming. Consult a financial advisor specializing in wrongful death cases to ensure the funds are managed responsibly and for your long-term benefit.
  3. Connect with Support Groups:
    Connecting with others who have experienced similar losses can be incredibly therapeutic. Sharing your story and finding empathy in a safe space can help you feel less alone. Reach out to local or online support groups specifically for families experiencing wrongful death.
  4. Honor Your Loved One’s Memory:
    There’s no single “right” way to honor your loved one. Consider establishing a scholarship, planting a memorial tree, or donating to a cause they were passionate about. These acts can be powerful ways to keep their memory alive and bring meaning to your loss.
  5. Prioritize your well-being:
    Remember, the legal battle may be over, but your journey of healing continues. Prioritize self-care, whether it’s spending time in nature, engaging in hobbies, or simply getting enough sleep. Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is crucial for moving forward.
  6. Seek Legal Guidance if Needed:
    Distributing the awarded damages can be a complex process, especially if there are multiple beneficiaries. Consult with your attorney regarding tax implications, estate planning considerations, and potential challenges that may arise.
    Moving Forward:
    Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to navigate life after a wrongful death verdict. Embrace the support of loved ones, prioritize your well-being, and find healthy ways to honor your loved one’s memory. With time and patience, you can find a new path forward, carrying the warmth of their memory and the strength of justice served.
    We hope this information provides a starting point for navigating the aftermath of a wrongful death verdict. Remember, Strickland & Kendall remains your trusted resource throughout this journey. If you have any questions or need additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Finding a Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have lost a close family member due to someone else’s carelessness, we are terribly sorry for your loss. Our team is committed to helping you recover damages the defendant owes you and your family. You shouldn’t have to tank financially because someone else wasn’t paying attention.

Navigating a wrongful death lawsuit and learning how they work can be extremely challenging while dealing with a loss. We believe you should not have to do it on your own.

Our wrongful death lawyers do all the demanding and tedious work so you can focus on healing and recovering. Then, we can fight on your behalf in the probate court with a team of results-driven attorneys.

We are available to assess all the facts of the case, track down the necessary information and persons, file all paperwork and notifications, and formulate the number of damages you are owed. To begin your wrongful death case, the first step is to contact us within the statute of limitations so that we can start a conversation.

Gathering evidence as close to death as possible is crucial for building a strong argument in your favor. Give us a call at (334).269.3230 and start a free consultation with our wrongful death lawyers.