Records You May Need When Filing a Wrongful Death Action
Dealing with a wrongful death is bound to be a traumatic experience for the family members left behind. No one expects to lose a mother, father, brother, sister or other family member so suddenly, and when it happens it can be hard to know what to do or who to blame.
Whether the sudden death is the result of medical malpractice, a car accident or a workplace injury, it is important for the surviving family members to preserve their rights and contact a qualified attorney. Not all lawyers have the expertise needed to successfully pursue a wrongful death lawsuit or negotiate a fair settlement.
Choosing the right attorney is an essential first step when pursuing a wrongful death action, but it is just as important to gather and preserve the records you will need going forward. Here are some of the records you will need when pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit or negotiating a settlement.
Pay Stubs and Tax Returns
If the loved one who suffered the wrongful death was the main breadwinner or contributed income to the household, you may be entitled to compensation for the earnings he or she would have received. In order to reach a fair settlement, the attorney will need to document past earnings and future earning potential.
You will want to gather all the income documents you can, including pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements. If the individual who suffered the wrongful death recently obtained a college degree, you will want to document that education as well. Educational achievement could influence the amount of money the deceased would have earned had the wrongful death not occurred.
If the accident or injury the deceased suffered resulted in high medical bills, you may be able to recover any out-of-pocket costs. Be sure to gather all the medical bills you can, including bills paid by the insurance company and bills you paid on your own.
If the wrongful death involved medical malpractice or negligence, you will want to gather as many medical records as you can. Your attorney can help you access the records you need, but you will need to provide the names of any doctors or hospitals that treated the deceased inviidual.
Expert testimony can be very compelling in a wrongful death lawsuit, especially if the circumstances of the death involved medical malpractice, serious negligence or a major failure on the part of an employer. If you have any expert statements already, you will want to copy the documents and provide them to your attorney.
If additional expert statements are needed, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you get access to them. In some cases the attorney will need to subpoena the records to provide the information you need.
Wrongful death is a serious matter, and few people will have the training and expertise needed to pursue the case on their own. If someone you love has suffered a wrongful death, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you get the compensation and the justice you deserve.
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