Simple Checklist for Wrongful Death of a Loved One
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Mon Jul 2016
- Wrongful Death,
The term “wrongful death” is actually a legal term. Obviously, very few of us would ever consider the death of a loved one to be rightful. It’s important to understand what the law considers wrongful death. And, who are legally qualified as loved ones.
Our clients tell us they understand things better when we present them in stories. Carol Meyer was riding in her best friend’s car one Saturday afternoon. They were headed back from a birthday party to Elizabeth.
The friend’s car moved from the slow lane to the middle one on the New Jersey Turnpike. At the same time, another vehicle drifted to the center lane. The two cars crashed and Carol was killed upon the vehicles’ impact. Since Carol’s family relied on her for financial support, they were able to pursue a wrongful death claim. It will be up to the courts to decide if her friend or the other driver is liable. Or, if both bear responsibility.
Bottom line. A wrongful death action occurs when someone else causes someone’s death. However, this is only one component of this type of case. The other part says that pecuniary losses must have been suffered as a result of the incident. In short, the decedent’s death must have caused someone to incur financial difficulties. In our exemplary case, Carol’s family won’t have the benefit of her weekly salary to cover bills.
Use this Checklist for Your Wrongful Death Claim
If you have lost someone and believe you should pursue a wrongful death claim, an experienced personal injury attorney will need certain information from you. There’s no time like the present to start accumulating this information. Here’s a checklist to get you started:
- Decedent’s Death Certificate
- Accident Report
- Marriage Records (if appropriate)
- Birth Records of Decedent’s children (if appropriate)
- Decedent’s Employment Information
- Decedent’s Social Security Number
- Names, Ages and Relationships of all Dependents
- Names of all Persons who may have suffered Financial Losses as a Result of Death
- Funeral and Burial Costs
- Photographs of property damage that occurred as a result of accident
- List of Medical Providers, including hospitalizations
- Short statement describing circumstances that led to wrongful death
- Will or Letters of Administration, if available
At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we understand losing a loved one is never easy. It is even harder when you believe someone else is responsible for their early demise. It is important that you retained experienced legal counsel to see if a cause of action exists for your family member’s wrongful death.
We have provided you with this checklist to make our first meeting an informative one, but understand it is often difficult to accumulate information. Contact us to schedule an appointment.