If you are seeking a top-rated wrongful death lawyer, you are making a good move. Wrongful death cases are complex and require the skills of an experienced attorney. Each case is unique and wrongful death falls under different classifications. Therefore, you need to know how your specific case will be resolved.
Reasons You Should Contact a Top-Rated Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death claims are not cut-and-dried. They may arise from negligence, an omission, or an intentional act or crime. Some of the cases may involve the following:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Birth injuries, resulting from medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle crashes – due to defective auto parts or negligent motorists
- Elder or nursing home abuse
- Assaults and other criminal acts
To understand the legalities surrounding a wrongful death case, a wrongful death lawyer Long Beach professional must be the top in their field, or in this specialty. Complications arise in these cases when defendants use time (when the claim was submitted) or a factor, such as overwork and understaffing, as a defense. While some of these defenses may be creative, it does not mean they will stand up in court.
Therefore, you need to use a top-rated wrongful death lawyer – someone who knows their way around the legal system to help adjudicate your claim.
Defenses Used in Wrongful Death – Waiver of Liability
One of the common defenses used in a wrongful death claim is a waiver of liability. In other words, the decedent signed a waiver, showing he or she knew the dangers of assuming risk. These risks may include activities such as rock climbing or skydiving. However, that still does not release the other party from negligence. It also does not allow them to seek a way out if they committed an intentional act.
While one party may claim that another party should have known about the inherent risk associated with an activity, you still can seek legal help by discussing your case with a wrongful death lawyer Long Beach advisor.
Investigating Your Claim
Your lawyer will investigate your claim and the events surrounding the case so you can determine the exact parties at fault. They can also help you produce witnesses so interrogatories and depositions can be produced for discovery. If a settlement can be reached before then, the discovery process is not required.
What the Statistics Show
According to one study conducted by John Hopkins on patient safety, a medical error was involved in over one-quarter of a million deaths. The eight-year study shows that the figure surpasses the 150,000 deaths posted for respiratory disease, the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
Moreover, John Hopkins researchers found that medical errors result in 10% of all deaths – deaths that are under-recognized as a prevailing statistic.
How Claims Can Veer Off-Course
Indeed, wrongful death claims can bring up some controversial findings. For example, according to the legal academics at Harvard, one case, Mickels v. Danrad 486 S.W. 3d 327 (Mo.2016), was overturned by the state Supreme Court, which showed that a wrongful death claim could not be settled but the case could be tried as a personal injury claim.
The patient, who visited his doctor, complained of headaches and vision problems. The physician ordered an MRI scan but did not render a diagnosis. Eleven weeks later, the patient was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor after he visited the hospital in a compromised mental state. He died 4 weeks later of the disease.
In the case, the doctor’s lawyer moved for summary judgment, claiming that prima facie (initial) evidence did not establish a cause in fact. The trial court concurred. However, the Supreme Court (by a ruling of 4 to 3) disagreed with the decision.
While the court said wrongful death could not be proven, it did state that the doctor could be sued for malpractice. Even though the tumor was incurable, the patient did not receive the needed treatment to extend his life at the time.
As you can see, no case is set in stone, even in wrongful death or personal injury matters. You have to prove negligence and that a breach of duty led to the injury or death of another party. Settlements may also be assessed, based solely on damages.
Therefore, like the court case above, time may not influence the court’s final decision. A well-read top-rated wrongful death lawyer can help you wade through the facts to reach a maximum settlement.
He or she can tell you what can go wrong as well as what you will need to do to be successful in filing a claim. The advice they provide is invaluable if you want to win your case.
Who to Contact
Do you have a wrongful death case you need to discuss and review? Talk to a top-rated wrongful death lawyer first. In Long Beach, call Belal Hamideh at (562) 526-1224 without delay.