The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things to deal with in life. This is especially true in a situation where death is sudden and unexpected. When a loved one gets killed in a tragic accident, the last thing anyone wants to have to deal with are lawyers and insurance companies. Unfortunately, these are often essentials in any death and certainly are in the case of a wrongful death.
People are often eager to settle the matter as quickly as possible, and insurance companies are all too eager to play off that desire. As a result, they manipulate people into taking far less than they are owed. Don’t accept any settlement from an insurance company until you have spoken with a qualified wrongful death attorney about your case, or you will likely end up getting cheated.
Don’t Get Cheated
When a loved one gets killed, especially unexpectedly, it can place a huge financial burden upon those left behind. This is especially true in households where the deceased was the primary or sole source of income. Getting the benefits that you deserve to help pay for funeral costs and lost income, along with pain and suffering, is essential.
Despite their constant attempts to portray themselves as friendly, helpful folk, insurance companies are ruthless. They are not in their business to provide peace of mind and financial security to their clients. They are in the insurance business to make money. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to pay as little as possible for a claim or avoid payment altogether.
For those with a strong wrongful death claim, the insurance company will probably move quickly to offer a settlement that is well under what they know the case to be worth. They are hoping that the claimant has not yet contacted a lawyer, is unaware of the true value of their claim, and will simply take the settlement, no questions asked.
Insurance companies also have a whole book of tricks to try to get claimants to make statements that they can later use against them. When speaking to an insurance adjuster, do not share any more information than you absolutely must or discuss the settlement amount at all. Your lawyer will discuss the settlement offer with the insurance company, coming from a more knowledgeable and powerful position.
Legitimate wrongful death lawyers will typically not charge their clients for hours worked but as a percentage of the eventual settlement. If the client doesn’t get paid, neither does the lawyer. With this in mind, you should know that the amount you will get with a lawyer on your side over what you could get on your own will likely far outweigh their percentage.
Hiring a qualified attorney is one of the best moves you can make when dealing with a wrongful death claim. Experience, reputation, and reviews are some of the factors one should consider before hiring a wrongful death lawyer.
Other Reasons to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Beyond your own financial situation, there are many other reasons for filing a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is about justice for the one who died as much as it’s about the financial well-being of those left behind. The person or entity whose negligence led to the death of your loved one should be held accountable. A wrongful death case can help to do this in a variety of ways, including the following.
Hurting Them Financially.
When the party responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one is a business, one of the best ways to bring down justice upon them is by hitting them where it hurts: in their balance sheets. The only time that most businesses are likely to change any unsafe practices is if it costs them more money not to, so make sure that it does and, hopefully, things will be better for others.
Making Sure They Understand What They Did Was Wrong
This can be a nearly impossible task with some big corporations who can be seriously lacking in business ethics. Big business and morality rarely mix. However, filing a wrongful death claim is your option for telling them that what they did was wrong, and hopefully, someone in there hears you.
Informing the Public of Their Actions
By filing a wrongful death claim, you can help bring the publics’ attention to the situation. Even if the amount of money for your claim isn’t enough for a big company to change their policies to ensure safety, public outrage and boycotts might be. A business can turn a public relations nightmare into a big win by announcing sweeping changes. While it might be done for a selfish reason on their part, it is still a good thing.
Drawing The Attention of Government Agencies
Filing a wrongful death claim against a corporation can also help to bring the attention of government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and possibly the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These agencies can hit a company with heavy penalties if they are not meeting proper safety guidelines.