Death can occur in an instant. Oftentimes, you don’t even get to say goodbye. Your world has just stopped, but everything seems to be happening all at once. You are devastated and don’t know what to do or where to turn. You have many questions but very few answers. People are asking you to make so many decisions when you are still trying to figure out what happened.
There is no greater loss than losing a loved one, but it is especially hard when you don’t have any warning. Someone else’s negligence can change your life forever in a fatal accident. We are experienced wrongful death attorneys and are here to help get you through this nightmare and find those answers. We represent and protect those left behind.
Early Investigation and Evidence Collection
Wrongful death cases are multifaceted. A thorough investigation must be started almost immediately in order to preserve critical evidence in a fatality. Autopsies are almost always necessary to determine the exact mechanism and cause of death. There is the issue of whether the decedent died instantly or may have a “survival action.” The medical reports can be very confusing as they include external anatomy examination, internal organ examination, microscopic review of tissues, as well as fluid toxicology testing for drugs, alcohol, or disease. Tissue samples are taken and preserved for future use and review by expert witnesses. Even in cases where the cause of death may seem obvious, specific findings on autopsy can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Types of Benefits: Survival and Wrongful Death
In wrongful death cases, there are potentially two types of benefits. The first is a “survival action” where the decedent lives for even an instant before death. This is where witnesses at the scene or autopsy results are vital. If proven, the decedent’s estate is entitled to medical bills, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. The second benefit, which does not go through the estate, is for loss of support, services, and companionship, and goes directly to family members. Of course, there are tax consequences for any benefits that pass through the estate, and a decedent’s will or probate law would control beneficiaries.
The trial attorneys of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP, are experienced wrongful death accident lawyers. They know the intricacies involved in these cases.
As a former Registered Nurse (RN) working in intensive care, attorney Robert J. Reeves understands complex anatomy and physiology and can explain trauma and autopsy findings. As former insurance defense attorneys, both Mr. Reeves and attorney Art Aiken know what to look for, what to look out for, and how to prepare for trial. We welcome the opportunity to sit down and personally discuss your case. Call us today for a private consultation.