Month: February 2019

What To Do If You Suspect Wrongful Death

Life happens and sometimes that means there are accidents. No one means to but sometimes people get hurt or worse, sometimes they are killed. When this happens, the survivors are left wondering what they can do for compensation. They are left struggling due to lost wages and funeral expenses. This is when the survivors file a wrongful death suit.

What does wrongful death mean?
Wrongful death happens when someone dies through the fault of a person or company. It could a single person in a car accident or it could be a faulty product produced by a company that resulted in a death. These suits can involve everything from a simple accident to a medical procedure gone wrong, of a faulty liability case. Individual people, companies, and even government agencies can be found legally at fault for negligence or for acting in an intentionally harmful way.

Who can file a wrongful death suit?
There is a limitation on who can file a wrongful death suit. They should be acting on behalf of the survivors of the deceased who are suffering due to this loss of life. These people are called “real parties of interest.” Sometimes this can be an executor of the estate, but the list can vary from state to state. There are others who can file in addition of the executor:

Immediate family members. All states allow immediate family, spouses and parents, to file a wrongful death suit.
Life partners or dependents. Some states will allow life partners or anyone that was wholly dependent on the deceased to file.
Distant family members. Some states allow for distant relatives such as a grandparent, sister, or brother to file a suit.
Parents of a fetus. When an accident happens through negligence or attack, parents of an unborn child can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the unborn baby.

Who can be sued for a wrongful death suit?
Different types of people can be sued for a wrongful death. It could be a single person as in a car accident. It could be a company in the case of a faulty product or part. The government could be sued if they failed to provide warning of a hazard in time. Some examples are:
● The driver in a car accident
● The person who sold alcohol to someone already intoxicated or impaired driver
● The owner of the location that served the alcohol, be it a store or a bar
● The company if a part on the car is faulty
● The builder of a faulty highway
● The government if adequate warning was not provided in a timely manner

Know your statutes of limitations.
Most cases have a statue of limitation and wrongful death suits are no exception. This limits how long someone must file the claim before the opportunity is gone permanently. In most state the immediate relatives get 1-3 years depending on the state to file a case.

Talk to an attorney.
The best course of action is to speak with a wrongful death specialist if you feel you have a case. They will help you gather all the necessary information and file all the correct paperwork. They will help you understand the laws surrounding a wrongful death suit which will help ease some of the stress of the case.

Understand your reimbursement options.
The courts will ultimately decide if and what reimbursements you are going to receive. These could include:
● Loss of income including future income
● Pain and suffering
● Loss of quality of life
● Hospital and burial costs
● Inheritance loss
● Mental suffering
● Support system loss
● Loss of companionship
● Collective damages
● Loss of a family member.

These can vary from state to state and some courts don’t allow compensations to be discussed. Make sure you speak with your attorney to fully understand the laws and statues of your case.

Wrongful death is hard enough without a lengthy court battle. Get a wrongful death attorney from the start to make the process as smooth as possible. They can tell you what to expect during the case. Make sure you are informed on what your state will allow and what the processes are.

In A Car Accident? What Do You Do Now?

Your life can drastically change in a split second. One minute you are driving somewhere and the next you find yourself in an accident. Whether you are at fault or not, there are some things you need to know for when you have an auto accident.

Don’t leave but move the vehicles to a safe place.
Absolutely never leave the scene of the accident. It is illegal and will cause more trouble than you would be in if the accident is determined to be your fault. If you and the other driver are able, move your vehicles to the side of the road so that you are not in the way of traffic. You don’t want to cause a further accident by blocking the road. Make sure you stand away from the road to prevent any injury. If you are not able to move the vehicles from the road, stand on the shoulder or stay in your car to avoid further injury.

Check on all people involved for injuries and call 911.
Make sure that all passengers and the other driver are ok. Once you have determined everyone is ok or needing medical attention, call 911. The police will be needed to make a report of the accident, an ambulance may be called to the scene if someone is injured, and a firetruck may be needed if any gas or other fluids are on the road.

Get pictures and talk to witnesses.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, take pictures of the damages of both cars. This will help your insurance adjuster later. You need to document as much as possible about the incident. Talk to bystanders to see if anyone witnessed the accident. Make sure you point out any witnesses to the police. They will be able to get a statement about what happened, and you may need their testimony if there are any legal issues.

Exchange Information
This is typically collected by the police officer responding to the scene, but it’s good practice to exchange information as soon as possible. You may find yourself in a situation where the police can’t respond, like being in a privately-owned parking lot. Also, this information will come in handy once you are able to contact your insurance company.

Give the officer as much detail as possible.
When you talking to the officer on the scene, make sure you give as much information about the accident as you can. Give details on what you were doing and what you observed the other vehicle doing. This is a great time to point out witnesses as their statements can shed more light on exactly what happened. Not only will this give the police a better understanding of what happened, yours and theirs accounts may be used to determine who is a fault for the accident.

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Contact your insurance company as soon as you can and give them information about the accident. They will need the police report as well as any photos you took to build an estimate on the damages as well as deciding who is at fault. Georgia is an at-fault state which means that the person determined to be at fault is responsible, along with their insurance company, to pay for damages. However, Georgia is also known to be a proportional comparative fault state. This means that it is assumed that both parties are partially responsible for the accident, it just needs to be determined how much of that responsibility each party has. If one party is found to be over 50% responsible, they are not able to seek any compensation for any damages, injury bills, or loss of income due to the accident.

You may want to consider getting an attorney.
You may not like it, but you should consider getting an attorney in case legal issues arise due to the accident and you need to go to court. Make sure you keep track of all medical expenses and any repair costs. Watch who and how much you discuss the accident. Careless comments could cost you in court. Be leery if the other party tries to give you a settlement offer. Do not accept any offer without discussing it with your attorney. Your attorney has your best interests at heart, and they want to make sure you get fair compensation.

Having an accident is not fun and causes a lot of headache. Your loss in time and transportation makes your life difficult. However, there are steps to follow to make sure your inconvenience is as low and fast as possible. Take time to learn these steps and your next accident (hopefully not any time soon) will go much smoother.

What You Should Do After A Slip-&-Fall Accident

Even though companies strongly enforce safety rules slips, trips, and falls happen. You are working and following all safety rules when you slip and fall. You may not know what to do after you fall. There are steps that you should follow to make sure you get adequate and fair compensation.

Tell your supervisor and get medical attention.
Report your fall to your immediate supervisor. They will need to document what happened. Make sure you seek medical attention even if you think you don’t need it. Don’t decline to see a doctor right away. There may be a serious injury that doesn’t show up right away. By going to the doctor, you are beginning to document the timing and details of your case for workman’s compensation. Having professional documentation of all injuries or any possible future injuries will make it harder for the company to block the claim by saying your injuries happened away from work.

Inspect the scene of the fall.
Look around where you fell. What caused you to fall? By determining what caused you to fall, the people reviewing your case can decide if there was something the company could have done to prevent the accident. Make sure you take pictures of the scene. This will document the scene for the investigators. It doesn’t matter if you know what you are taking pictures of, take as many pictures as you can. Your attorney can tell you what is going to be relevant to your case later.

Find out if there were witnesses.
Having a witness account will be very important to your case. They can confirm what happened and what caused the fall. Make sure you include any witness names and their accounts in your official report. Make sure an official report of the incident is filed. Your supervisor may try to say an official report isn’t necessary but insist that one is filed.

Write everything down.
Memory can be faulty. Make sure you write down every detail of the slip and fall as soon as possible. You want to preserve as many details as possible and you don’t want to run the risk of forgetting something important later. Make sure you give this account to your attorney.

Don’t talk too much about the fall.
You want to make sure you are only stating the facts and that you don’t talk to too many people. That can muddle what facts or reembraces of the event. Make sure that when you do talk that you don’t blame the company or take any blame on yourself. This could be used against you later in the claim. DO NOT POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA! If you go on social media with complaints or blame it can damage your case.

Hire an attorney as quick as you can.
You may need to fight to get your claim to workman’s compensation so you will want to start working with an attorney as soon as you can. This way they can start working on your case and getting all the documentation they need. Having an attorney will help you have the best chance of ensuring your claim is approved.

Slips and falls can really make a big impact on your life. You could have lost time at work and lost wages. Having an attorney to facilitate the process can only help you. Don’t let a slip and fall incident change your life. Following these steps will help you get started on building a solid case for workman’s compensation. Remember that documentation is essential to any case. Every detail and every piece of evidence can only help you.