hourglassMy Loved One was Killed in an Accident…What Do I Do Now?

The question of what to do following a fatal accident is as crucial as it is perplexing. The speed at which you are able to put the tragedy behind you depends on your conduct in the time directly following the accident; yet, that is when the shock of the accident is most acute and potentially blinding. Some orders of business speak for themselves; others are less instinctual. Some require prompt attention, while others can and should wait. As difficult as it can be to keep everything straight, the flurry of details can, on some level, be summed up in the following three items:

3 Things to Do Following the Death of a Loved One

1. Don’t Rush

Wrongful death survivors are in something of a double bind directly following a wrongful death. On the one hand, they will probably be besieged by a thousand orders of business vying for their attention early on, all seeming to demand their immediate focus. On the other hand, any missteps made in a moment of panic, inattention, or absentmindedness could be seriously detrimental to their claim when some of the dust has settled. While it is likely that your own long-term recovery will not be the first thing on your mind when a loved has fallen victim to a tragic accident, you are more likely to recover emotionally in a timely manner if you refrain from making difficult decisions, issuing official statements, and coming to compensation agreements in the heat of the moment. Much grappling with insurers and/or at-fault parties later on can be spared if only you take things slowly until you know what you’re doing. Some momentary peace of mind is bought with ultimate comfort.

2. Start to Talk to Your Own Insurance Company

While you should proceed with caution, you will have to let your insurance company know that you intend to file a claim in order to begin the filing process and to learn what sort of documentation you need to begin gathering. Because the materials you need to file a wrongful death claim are considerable and comprehensive, the process of pulling them together should be commenced as soon as possible. (Even though the 2-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim might seem long, you may be surprised by how much there is to do.) You will probably have to render a recorded statement* concerning the events of the wrongful death for your insurance company in addition to whatever other evidence you have of wrongdoing. *What you should NOT do is make a recorded statement for the at-fault party’s insurance company before you have gotten the approval from a wrongful death attorney, as the wrongdoer’s insurance may well use your words against you.

3. Contact Us

A wrongful death is a costly affair, as well as a potentially combative one. These factors together lay a foundation for what could be a harrowing ordeal if you choose to undertake the proceeding unaided. Thus, it always makes sense to speak to a personal injury attorney about your case. If you have a solid claim, a personal injury attorney will almost certainly more than pay for their own services by securing a more satisfactory settlement than you would be able to attain acting alone. If your claim is overly tenuous, it would be unprofitable for an attorney paid on contingency to string you along without some reasonable expectation of a satisfactory settlement or a guilty verdict for the defendant. Since Christensen & Hymas offers free initial consultations, there is no cause to worry about money wasted (in what may be a period of financial straits) and nothing to lose by learning more about the factors driving your own case. If your loved one has been killed in an accident, or you suspect that negligence contributed to their death, Utah personal injury attorneys Christensen & Hymas can help. For your free initial consultation, call (801) 506-0800. To learn about wrongful death claims and to see how we have helped others who have lost loved one, visit our Wrongful Deatharticle or see examples of cases we have won.

Image “Hourglass” copyright by Rachel.

 

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