Whenever vehicular accidents occur, either due to reckless driving or a faulty car wiring, it is almost certain that family members would demand the best medical care available for the victim, and file an accident lawsuit or personal injury claim against the party at fault. In extreme cases, the car wreck may lead to permanent brain injury or disability and worst, to a fatality.
When car or motor vehicle accidents lead to the victim’s death, family members have every right to go after the people liable for the tragedy and to file a wrongful death claim. Who will benefit from such claims would then depend on state laws. Although the surviving partner is usually the first priority in wrongful death claim cases, such as in West Virginia, other general beneficiaries include the deceased person’s parents, siblings, children or declared dependents.
Under the statute of limitations, a beneficiary is given two years to file for wrongful death after an injury or accident claims the life of a loved one.
Although the list of required documents to support claims may vary, there are three general places you can visit to get the files commonly requested by injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys to strengthen your case.
1. Hospital and Medical Health Facilities
If the accident occurred while your loved one was driving, and if it did not immediately lead to death, the car accident victim will be taken to the nearest hospital for treatment of brain or physical injuries sustained. You will need to request all medical records—including laboratory test results or toxicology reports—to prove that your kin was not a drunk driver. This will help you to show that another party was at fault for the crash.
In rare cases, the death may come as a result of medical errors during a surgery. In this case, you will need to secure the surgical report along with scans or x-rays and submit it to your injury lawyer for possible grounds to sue for medical malpractice.
Another wrongful death document that will support your claim is the autopsy report which you can get from the coroner’s office. This will show the judge the exact cause of death for accident victims.
2. Police Station
If the wrongful death claim stems from a vehicle accident, or a fatal injury incurred within another person’s premises, an investigation may have been conducted by local police officers. This would mean that you may request a copy of the police report prepared by the station. In these situations, a police report and evidence documentation will be completed. You will want access to these wrongful death documents as soon as possible so they can be submitted with your wrongful death claim.
3. Accident Site
For accident cases resulting from negligence, the filer must secure documents proving that the liable party and victim are related.This would prove that the negligent party owes a duty of care, and the negligence, such as failure to watch over a minor, led to the car accident or truck accident.
For accidents occurring within another person’s premises, land leases or contracts may be presented to show that the homeowner or landowner failed to make the premises safe, thereby leading to the place being prone to accidents.
4. Law Firm
It may come as a surprise to know that law firms can be a potential source of needed documents during a wrongful death petition. Although the supporting files would not come directly from attorneys, they will give you a list of other needed information and help you calculate the value of your wrongful death claim, which you will include in the petition. The computation will hinge on your assessment of the accident’s impact on your financial stability and emotional health, and considers factors such as lost wages and family finances, loss of consortium or child support payments, pain and suffering, or the need for psychological counseling.
Once you have consolidated all pertinent records and information regarding the fatal wreck, you are now ready to file a wrongful death claim.
Have you suffered the loss of a family member or a loved one due to the negligence of another party, company, or business?
It is in your best interest to seek the help of a legal professional, particularly a wrongful death attorney who will be able to help you not just throughout the claim process and even prior to filing, but also during document collection. You have every right to gather all necessary documents for your investigation and to seek fair compensation for the tragedy. Let a wrongful death lawyer help you recover compensation for your loss.
West Virginia law firms specializing in personal injury law and wrongful death cases, such as Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC may be contacted if you are in need of an attorney. The sooner you let attorneys assist you in filing a claim, the quicker the matter can be resolved. Contact Ghaphery Law Offices, PLLC now to schedule a free consultation on your case.