Wrongful death claims typically arise when someone’s death is caused by the accidental or intentional actions of another person or entity. The following are some key steps that need to be taken to help determine if you have a  wrongful death case.

Contact an Attorney

One of the first and most crucial steps in determining whether you have a wrongful death case is to contact a wrongful death lawyer. The wrongful death attorney can assess the specific circumstances of your case and provide guidance as to whether you have a valid claim. They can also help guide you in the below essential steps.

Order an Autopsy…Maybe

It’s important to note that not all wrongful death cases require an autopsy. If there is no real question as to the cause of death, an autopsy is generally not necessary. Let’s say, for example, that your loved one was a healthy person with no underlying health concerns. He gets in a serious car accident in which the other person’s car drives head-on into his car; he dies at the scene. In that wrongful death action, it will be obvious to all parties that the car crash is what caused his death. An autopsy, thus, would not give much more information than what is already evident to all involved.

On the other hand, if it is completely unknown what exactly caused your loved one’s death, then an autopsy could be informative. For example, if you think your loved one died due to being prescribed the wrong medicine and the doctor you’re suing suggested your loved one died from an unrelated pneumonia, an autopsy could help resolve the issue.  An autopsy would clarify whether the wrongfully prescribed medicine caused your loved one to die or whether the unrelated lung infection did. And your wrongfully death medical malpractice attorney can guide you as to whether or not you should order one.

Have an Expert Review Records

Whether the death took place on a highway or in a hospital bed, there will be records of the circumstances prior to, during, and after the death. And those records need to be reviewed by an appropriate expert to determine if the death was caused by someone else. The expert could be a gastrointestinal surgeon or someone who specializes in workplace safety. The expert will review the observations, notes, hospital reports, and all other records to help determine the cause of death and to help the wrongful death lawyer evaluate the potential claim.

If the attorney finds that there is in fact a valid wrongful death claim, they will help you gather sufficient evidence and file a Complaint in court. The case may end in trial or in a wrongful death settlement. Either way, it’s imperative to contact an attorney as soon as you suspect your loved one’s death could be the fault of someone else. The attorneys at VSCP Law can help.