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How We Handle Your Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful Death LawyerHave You Lost a Family Member in a Tragic Accident?

Losing a loved one in a preventable accident is a tragedy that no family should ever need to experience. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 173,000 people die each year in accidents. This makes accidents the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer. Families dealing with the premature loss of a loved one are forced to deal not only with their grief but also with the financial impact of their loss.

If your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to another’s negligence, you are not alone. You also have options. At the wrongful death law firm of Console & Associates, P.C., we are here for you. We understand the grief your family is experiencing and want to help however we can. Our wrongful death lawyers will explain the recovery process to you in clear, understandable terms, so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.

No Fee Promise You Don't Pay Unless We Win Console & Associates PC

When you contact Console & Associates, P.C. for a free legal consultation, we will answer all your questions about the wrongful death claims process and provide you with honest answers to your questions. We will never pressure you or overwhelm you with complex legal terms and concepts. If you decide to bring Console & Associates, P.C. onto your legal team, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t be responsible for any legal fees unless we win your case. That’s part of our No Fee Promise that we make to all of our clients.

To schedule your free, confidential consultation, just call (866) 778-5500.

The grief that comes along with the loss of a loved one is tremendous. However, it’s only magnified when your loss is due to an entirely preventable accident.

Nothing can turn back the hands of time to before the accident. However, grieving families can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death claim seeks to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions while seeking compensation to help families overcome the financial burdens they are forced to confront after the accident.

Wrongful Death Lawyers

At Console & Associates, P.C., we understand the pain of your loss and are here to support you in any way we can. We also recognize that the thought of bringing a wrongful death lawsuit after a tragedy of this magnitude is not necessarily at the top of the list of your priorities. However, at the same time, you shouldn’t bear the burden of your loss alone. Your family deserves answers. Over the past 25 years, our wrongful death law practice has helped countless families who found themselves in similar positions obtain the compensation they need to begin the process of moving on with their lives after a tragic accident. We take a client-centered approach to every case we handle, attentively listening to you, your needs, and your story before recommending any course of action.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim in which families can seek financial compensation from the party or parties they believe to be responsible for the death of their loved one. The exact definition of what constitutes a wrongful death varies based on the state you live in. However, a wrongful death claim can be based on another’s intentional or unintentional acts.

When it comes to accidental deaths, wrongful death cases rely on the legal standard of negligence. In other words, a death is “wrongful” if it was caused by another’s negligent actions.

Wrongful death claims are brought by either the executor of an accident victim’s estate or their surviving family members. The proceeds of a wrongful death lawsuit are distributed according to state law, but in most cases, they are divided up among surviving family members.

At Console & Associates, P.C., our wrongful death law firm handles all types of accidental death cases. We possess the legal knowledge, dedication, and resources necessary to effectively bring a case against even the largest and most powerful businesses and insurance companies.

What Are the Different Types of Wrongful Death Claims?

Any type of accident can form the basis of a wrongful death case. However, most wrongful death lawsuits involve the following accidents:

Auto Accidents

Car accidents claim nearly 40,000 lives per year, making them one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. All motorists have a duty of care to others on the road. When a negligent driver’s actions cause a fatal car accident, they can be held accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Drunk Driving Accidents

Despite decades of driver education and awareness programs and harsh criminal laws punishing drunk driving, people still get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. According to the most recent estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, 10,497 people, or about a third of all fatal accident victims, died in alcohol-related accidents. Drunk driving accidents are more likely to cause fatal injuries because these collisions often involve high speeds and direct impacts, like head-on collisions. A wrongful death attorney can be instrumental in helping families obtain the compensation they deserve after losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident.

Bicycle Accidents

Cyclists face many hazards each time they hop on their bikes. In fact, about two percent of all fatal traffic accidents involve cyclists.

Roads may not have bike lanes, and even if they do, there is no guarantee that a driver will see a bicyclist. Given the lack of protection bikes offer their riders, bicycle accidents often end in the victim paying the ultimate price for a negligent driver’s actions.

Pedestrian accidents

Every 88 minutes, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident. Approximately one in six fatal pedestrian accidents involves a drunk driver. Regardless of whether a pedestrian was crossing at a crosswalk, waiting for the bus, walking down the sidewalk, or even crossing outside a designated crosswalk, a negligent driver may be legally responsible for a pedestrian’s death.

Pedestrian accident claims can be very complicated, depending on the nature of the accident. The assistance of a respected wrongful death law firm can make the process much easier and increase the likelihood of success.

Motorcycle Accidents

According to the most recent data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, motorcyclists are more than 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries after an accident than those in other types of vehicles. Motorcyclists also face an unfair societal stigma that they are aggressive drivers, which makes recovering compensation for a fatal motorcycle accident more challenging.

Truck Accidents

Trucking companies pay truck drivers based on the number of miles they travel. They also impose strict deadlines on drivers. The result is that truck drivers face tremendous pressure to cover as much ground as possible each day.

These realities often lead to truckers staying on the road well past the point of fatigue. Some truckers even rely on over-the-counter or illegal drugs to keep them awake. Of course, these substances can impact a truck driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.

Defective and Dangerous Products

When you purchase a product, whether it be a toy for your child, a vehicle, or a prescription medication, you expect that it will be safe. However, that is not always the case.

Products regularly contain manufacturing or design defects that render them dangerous to consumers. If a poorly designed or defective product caused your loved one’s death, the manufacturers may be liable through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Defective Medical Devices

Medical devices have contributed to the overall increase in the average lifespan. However, medical device manufacturers often rush their products to market, prioritizing profit over safety. When a medical device is defective, it can lead to serious injury or even death.

A wrongful death attorney can help families who are coping with the loss of a loved one hold the medical device company responsible for their loss.

Workplace Accidents

Most people spend a major portion of their day at work. It’s no surprise that a significant number of accidental deaths occur at the workplace. While some industries are more dangerous than others, any employee can fall victim to another person’s or company’s negligence.

Maritime and Offshore Accidents

Boat accidents and cruise ship accidents claim hundreds of lives per year. At the same time, these cases are exceptionally complex due to the application of maritime law. An experienced wrongful death lawsuit attorney can help grieving families effectively bring a claim against a negligent boater or cruise ship operator following a fatal accident.

At Console & Associates, P.C., our wrongful death attorneys have a long history of fighting on behalf of grieving families. Regardless of the type of accident that resulted in your loved one’s death, chances are we’ve handled similar cases in the past. We understand that you have questions, and we can provide the answers.

How to Prove a Wrongful Death Case

Should you decide to seek legal counsel for a wrongful death action, your attorney’s job will be to show that the defendant (the party against whom you have filed a lawsuit) is responsible for your loved one’s death. You will need to prove that the defendant acted negligently or intentionally and caused harm to your loved one, resulting in his or her death.

In this context, “negligence” has a very specific legal meaning. To establish that another party was negligent, you would need to prove three things:

  1. The other party owed your loved one a duty of care;
  2. The other party violated, or breached, that duty; and
  3. The other party’s breach of duty resulted in your loved one’s death.

While this may sound straightforward, that is rarely the case. Whoever is responsible for your loss will likely have an insurance company defending against the allegations. Insurance companies employ teams of highly skilled lawyers whose sole job is to limit the insurance company’s liability. Thus, even small oversights or errors can jeopardize an otherwise strong claim. If you are considering a wrongful death claim, it is imperative that you reach out to a dedicated accident death attorney to fully understand your rights and what you need to do to successfully bring your case.

What Is the Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process?

Every state has its own laws that govern the wrongful death lawsuit process. However, the following are all important considerations that often come into play.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death claims are brought either by the accident victim’s surviving loved ones or the executor of the accident victim’s estate. An executor is the person named in the accident victim’s will to handle their affairs after they die.

How Is a Representative for a Deceased Accident Victim Appointed?

Depending on the state you live in, a wrongful death claim may need to be filed by the personal representative or executor of the accident victim’s estate. If the accident victim named an executor in their will, that would be the person responsible for bringing a wrongful death claim. However, if a deceased accident victim does not have a will or did not name an executor, the court will appoint a personal representative. Typically, a court will name a close family member as a personal representative, such as a spouse or child.

How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Take?

Wrongful death cases can take as little as six months or as long as several years. The length of a wrongful death case depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the extent of investigation needed and the degree to which the insurance company disputes liability. An experienced wrongful death law firm can ensure that your case is not unnecessarily delayed.

How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help?

Wrongful death attorneys are instrumental in ensuring a smooth and successful claim. For example, a wrongful death lawyer will investigate the accident to identify all potential sources of evidence that support a claim.

A lawyer will also contact the at-fault party’s insurance company to determine if a settlement agreement for the wrongful death of your loved one is possible. This can spare your family from a long, drawn-out, and emotional trial. Of course, an experienced wrongful death law firm will have the litigation experience necessary to confidently take your case to trial if the insurance company is unwilling to extend a fair settlement offer.

Which Factors Are Considered While Determining the Amount of Damages to Award in a Wrongful Death Case?

After the tragic death of a loved one, your thoughts are understandably centered around the emotional impact of your loss. However, your loved one’s death also carries financial consequences. It isn’t fair for your family to be left responsible for these economic and non-economic damages. State laws vary when it comes to the available damages in a wrongful death claim; however, the following are the most common types of damages in a wrongful death claim:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Lost income;
  • Child support;
  • Education expenses;
  • Consortium (companionship, comfort and love for spouses);
  • Loss of parental guidance or nurturing (for children);
  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Medical expenses; and
  • Punitive damages.

At Console & Associates, P.C., we’ve handled hundreds of wrongful death claims on behalf of grieving families. Over this time, we’ve developed an effective method of identifying the full extent of damages a family confronts after the loss of a loved one. This ensures that your family will not be taken advantage of by the insurance company, which may attempt to settle your claim for far less than the amount of damages you sustained.

When Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Have to Be Filed?

After a loved one is killed in a preventable accident, filing a civil wrongful death claim may not be at the front of your mind. That’s understandable, as you have so much on your plate. However, it is important to realize that you only have a certain amount of time to bring a wrongful death claim.

Every state has a statute of limitations that explains how long you have to file a claim. While statutes of limitations vary, they are generally between one and five years. The clock begins to tick from the day that your loved one passed, not from the day of the accident. If you recently lost a loved one in any type of accident, it is important that you reach out to a wrongful death lawsuit law firm as quickly as possible to ensure your case is filed in a timely manner.

Additionally, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the easier time they will have locating important evidence that supports your claim. For example, over time, physical evidence becomes harder to locate, and witnesses’ memories can fade. Thus, the best practice is to contact a wrongful death claims attorney as soon as possible.

How Can Console & Associates, P.C. & Associates Help in a Wrongful Death Case?

High-quality legal representation is key to a successful wrongful death case. Wrongful death law covers a wide range of accidents and can be exceptionally complex. Additionally, the stakes are very high in these cases.

The insurance company will have a team of lawyers assigned to your case, hoping to reduce the value of your claim. It is imperative that you have a legal team of the same caliber. For example, a 2014 study conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that claimants who worked with an experienced attorney recovered 3.5 times more in damages than those who pursued the claim on their own.

At Console & Associates, P.C., we are here to fight for you and to help your family seek justice for your tragic loss. Over the 25 years we’ve been representing families in wrongful death claims, we’ve seen too many get taken advantage of by insurance companies. We won’t let this happen to your family. From the moment you bring our legal team on board, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf at every stage of the claims process.

What Will a Wrongful Death Lawyer Cost You?

No Fee Promise You Don't Pay Unless We Win Console & Associates PC

Losing a loved one brings about many hurdles. While many families are initially consumed by their grief, it is not long before the financial consequences of their loss begin to set in. Given this reality, understandably, the cost is a major concern when considering hiring a wrongful death lawyer.

At Console & Associates, P.C., we don’t want money to come between you and the justice your family deserves. That is why we developed the No Fee Promise.

When you allow us to handle your wrongful death claim, we will not charge you for legal representation unless and until we can secure either a wrongful death settlement or jury award in your favor. We also pay for all the upfront costs of litigation, so you don’t have to worry about paying anything out-of-pocket to bring a case.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’ve lost a loved one in a preventable accident caused by another’s negligence, the dedicated wrongful death lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are here for you. Together, we can accomplish two very important things.

First, by holding negligent parties accountable for their actions, we will be doing our part to make society a safer place. Businesses, motorists, healthcare professionals, and insurance companies need to know that someone is out there who will hold them accountable.

Second, we will do everything we can to get your family the funds that you need to start moving forward with your lives after the accident. It’s not that money will lessen the grief you are experiencing, but not having to worry about the economic burdens caused by the accident can make a meaningful difference in your life.

When you hire Console & Associates, P.C., we will take on all the hassles that come along with bringing a wrongful death claim. We will also provide you with frequent updates about your case and answer any questions you have throughout the legal process.

To schedule your free legal consultation, just call (866) 778-5500 today. You can also fill out our secure contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Happens If an Accident Victim Was Partially at Fault?

While some accidents are solely the fault of one party, it is common for an accident victim’s own negligence to play a role, however small, in the accident. Typically, this won’t prevent a family from bringing a wrongful death claim. However, courts will reduce a family’s recovery amount by their loved one’s percentage of fault.

For example, if a jury determines that your family’s damages were $500,000 and your loved one was 10% at fault, the total recovery amount would be $450,000. However, depending on local state law, a family may not be able to recover compensation for their losses if an accident victim is more than 50% responsible for an accident. Thus, it is important that you have a dedicated wrongful death attorney in your corner to minimize any role your loved one played in causing the accident that resulted in their death.

Who Is Entitled to Wrongful Death Benefits?

Every state has its own laws when it comes to how the proceeds from a wrongful death claim are distributed. However, typically, any damages are divided between the accident victim’s surviving loved ones.

How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Typically Take?

Wrongful death claims vary greatly in length, ranging from six months to several years. Typically, the more complex the case, the longer it takes to resolve. Additionally, if there are multiple parties involved in the case, it will usually take longer. An experienced wrongful death attorney can provide families with an estimate of the amount of time it will take to resolve their case.

What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Criminal Case?

A fatal accident may result in two types of legal claims. The first is a criminal case. Criminal cases are brought by the government in an attempt to punish the responsible party for breaking the law. However, even if a defendant in a criminal case is found guilty, the family stands to gain little from the conviction because the court is not able to award monetary damages to the victim’s family.

A wrongful death case, on the other hand, is a civil claim brought on behalf of the accident victim’s surviving loved ones. Because wrongful death claims are civil in nature, they are subject to a lower burden of proof. This means that, even if the government didn’t charge the person responsible for your loved one’s death or they were found not guilty at trial, you can still pursue a wrongful death claim.

Where Does the Money Come From in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

While every case is different, insurance companies cover the costs of a wrongful death lawsuit in the vast majority of cases. When a business, driver, doctor, or homeowner purchases an insurance policy, the insurance company agrees to “indemnify” or defend the insured against any claim covered under the policy.

So, while your lawsuit may technically be filed against the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s death, an insurance company will very likely be the one defending the case. At Console & Associates, P.C., we have decades of experience taking on some of the largest and most powerful insurance companies in the country.

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