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5 Reasons To Hire An Attorney Quickly After A Family Member's Fatal Accident

When a close relative is killed in an accident and the circumstances involve someone else's negligence or carelessness, the family may be unsure how to proceed. The insurance company of the individual or organization responsible for the accident may make a settlement offer relatively soon, but it can be difficult to know whether that settlement is reasonable. In other cases, no settlement offer is made at all.

There are good reasons for family members to hire a personal injury attorney without delay after the fatal accident occurs. You don't have to pay upfront fees to an injury lawyer, as this type of law firm usually does not receive any fees if they do not obtain a better settlement for you. This article will address a few ways the attorney can help you. 

Proving the Other Party Was at Fault

If the insurer disputes that its policyholder was at fault, the lawyer will obtain the necessary evidence to prove your case. The law firm uses its team of paralegals to interview witnesses, hires expert witnesses who can reconstruct and interpret accident scenarios, and may put a private investigator on the case as well.

The sooner a law firm can get started on these tasks, the more accurate the information will likely be. In addition, some evidence disappears over time. Skid marks on a road, for example, gradually fade away. 

Knowing What Amount of Compensation Is Reasonable

An insurer may try to convince you that the settlement offer is reasonable, but a lawyer understands that initial offers tend to be low. Insurance companies naturally want to pay out as little as possible, and they know that many people simply accept that offer.

However, consider what that monetary compensation should cover. It should include payment for:  

  • lost future wages if this individual helped support a family
  • services provided to a family by this person, such as yard work and home maintenance
  • medical and funeral expenses
  • pain and suffering experienced by the injured person before death
  • loss of consortium for the surviving spouse, children or parents
  • loss of parenting for minor children

Some of these are not tangible and cannot be directly calculated, but a lawyer who handles wrongful death cases knows what compensation is reasonable for these factors. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you can quit worrying whether any offer you've received is reasonable.

Dealing With the Insurer

When a wrongful death lawyer takes your case, you can stop the ordeal of communicating with the insurance company. Losing a loved one suddenly is a terrible experience, and your family has other aspects to handle. Everything can feel overwhelming, and you probably don't want to talk with insurance representatives right now.

Because of this, families sometimes accept an initial settlement and later wish they would have demanded more. But once a settlement is accepted, the family gives up its rights to ask for more compensation later. 

After hiring a lawyer, you can concentrate on emotional healing and any practical factors you must manage within your household while the lawyer takes care of working out compensation with the insurer.

Acquiring a Settlement Before Family Circumstances Change

It may seem impossible to imagine at the moment, but if you are a surviving spouse, you may remarry one day. Some surviving spouses find themselves planning to remarry much sooner than they ever would have expected. An intent to remarry can lead an insurer to reduce compensation for damages such as loss of consortium.

Providing Answers to Your Legal Questions

You may have many questions regarding the legal aspects of your situation. Instead of spending hours on the Internet trying to find information that is applicable specifically to you and your family, you can get those answers directly from your lawyer. 

Contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation to learn more about how they can assist you.