When the death of a loved one is due to the negligence or intentional act of another party, the unexpected loss can be difficult to bear. Along with the overwhelming pain comes the difficult task of filing a wrongful death claim.
And since you're going through a particularly stressful time, you may miss a few things that could jeopardize your case. Take a look at some of the common mistakes you should avoid when filing a wrongful death claim.
You Take Too Long to File Your Claim
If you file your wrongful death claim long after the death of your loved one, you may lose your right to sue. Most Australian jurisdictions have a statute of limitations for such claims. That means you have a specific amount of time in which to file your case.
In some cases, you could still file your wrongful death claim even if you've missed the statute of limitations. To get an extension on your time limit, your lawyer could file a tolling agreement. This document would explain why you couldn't file your claim on time. If the court grants your request, you'll have more time to file your lawsuit.
You Have Insufficient Evidence
If you want to win your wrongful death case, you need evidence to back up your claim. Your lawyer can review the facts of your case and gather the necessary evidence to build a successful lawsuit. They can use witness statements, police reports, and medical records to help prove that the other party is at fault.
Make sure you hold on to all the necessary documents that support your claim. Otherwise, you may not be able to prove that the other party is liable, and your case could be dismissed.
You Fail to Name All Potential Defendants
In some wrongful death cases, there may be more than one party responsible for the death of your loved one. For example, if your loved one was killed in a truck accident, you could sue both the driver and the trucking company. The truck driver may have been speeding or driving recklessly, and the trucking company may have failed to maintain the vehicle properly.
To ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation, make sure you name all potential defendants in your lawsuit. That way, you'll not miss out on the compensation you're entitled to.
You Accept a Quick Settlement
After the loss of a loved one, you may be tempted to accept the first settlement made by the insurance company. Oftentimes, plaintiffs accept this offer because they want the issue resolved quickly,
Unfortunately, some insurance companies could lowball you with an offer, far less than your case is worth. Before you accept any settlement, contact an experienced lawyer who can evaluate the offer and help you determine if it is indeed fair.
You should also avoid giving any statements to the insurance company until you have talked with your lawyer. Failure to do so could unintentionally devalue your claim and make your case more difficult to win.
Contact a lawyer in your area to learn more.