Avoid These Common Mistakes When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California
August 9th, 2021|
Losing a loved one is a challenging moment in anyone’s life. For many, there is no pain worse than mourning the loss of a family member or friend. Although it is natural to be emotional under such hardship, the pain felt is made even worse when knowing the death resulted from another person’s negligence.
In cases where the death is due to someone else’s negligence, the victim’s family has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and hold the responsible parties accountable. If you are a California resident intending to file a wrongful death claim, learn about these common mistakes and why you should avoid making them.
Settling Your Case Without an Attorney
In times of hardship, it can be tempting to settle the case independently. However, this is one of the most common mistakes when filing a legal claim and exacerbates the stress you may already be experiencing.
Don’t fight this battle alone. Contact California wrongful death attorneys and let them handle the legal aspects of your case. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our wrongful death attorneys have the resources and qualifications to represent you, giving you the time you need to heal.
The stress and pressure involved in a wrongful death lawsuit cause many families to argue over various issues, such as funeral arrangements or other estate matters.
While it’s natural to be emotional under pressure, you and your family must set aside your differences and focus on recovering. If you are having difficulty handling interaction and communication regarding a lawsuit due to grief, our wrongful death attorneys can remove the legal burden from your shoulders, so you have the time you need to grieve your loved one.
Speaking to an Insurance Company
When dealing with their insurance providers, mistakes families make fall into one of these two categories: speaking to them before contacting a lawyer or letting multiple family members talk to company representatives.
Remember that an insurance company never has you or your family’s best interests in mind. Their priority is to minimize the amount of money they owe you, and they will attempt every tactic possible to avoid paying the compensation you deserve.
By getting family members to speak to their representatives – especially multiple members, who can contradict each other – insurance reps may gather statements and information they can use to reduce the compensation they offer or even deny your claim entirely.
Refer the reps to your attorneys, do not speak directly to them, and advise your family members not to talk to them either.
Accepting an Offer Too Early
Spend some time thinking about the costs involved in the death of your loved one. The total expenses likely include medical and funeral expenses, loss of future earnings – particularly if the deceased loved one was the family’s primary income earner – compensation for the pain and suffering endured, and more.
When filing a wrongful death claim, the settlement should adequately compensate you for all these factors. Since insurance companies will offer you as little as possible, their initial offers are seldom enough.
You must carefully consider when you should accept the compensation. Once you do, there is no going back to ask for additional funds. If you’re in doubt, ask for counseling from your attorneys; they can help you determine whether the compensation is worth accepting.
Speaking Publicly About the Situation (Even Online)
Depending on the circumstances, the situation may have garnered public attention, and local media organizations may attempt to reach you for statements or comments. While it may be tempting, don’t speak about the events to media organizations or in public settings, no matter how much you wish others to know what you’re going through.
Any public statements you make can be used against you during a trial or negotiations, potentially preventing you from getting the compensation you deserve.
Similarly, anything you post publicly on social media is equivalent to making a public statement. The content of your posts can be used against you, even if you later delete them; a third party can take screenshots and save evidence of your statements.
Maintain your privacy and avoid public statements both online and offline, at least until a settlement has been reached and you’ve received compensation.
Let Us Help You
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we understand how challenging it can be for the families of wrongful death victims. Entrust your legal representation to us; we will stand up for your rights and give you compassionate legal service and counsel. Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation.