Picking Up the Pieces After a Wrongful Death
Life expectancy in the United States dropped 1.8 years in 2020, the largest single decrease since 1923, when the Spanish Flu pandemic raged across the country. Usually, no one is to blame for the start of epidemics like the Spanish Flu and coronavirus. However, property owners could be at least partially responsible for the spread of such diseases. Some owners don’t follow all government health and safety requirements.
Only a Columbia wrongful death lawyer holds property owners, careless drivers, and other negligent actors (tortfeasors) responsible for the damages they cause. But especially amidst the emotional turmoil of a wrongful death, many people don’t know where to start. This decision is an important one, and not just because of responsibility. Wrongful death survivors are also entitled to the financial compensation they need to move on with their lives.
How to Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
The emotional aspects of a wrongful death claim turn a complex case into a convoluted case. It’s like someone put a line of hieroglyphics out of order, making the letters even harder to translate. Quite frankly, most lawyers, even attorneys who’ve been around awhile, are not up to the task. So, as you look for a lawyer focus on:
- Experience: Many Columbia personal injury lawyers tout their years of experience, an important statistic that could be misleading. The real issue is what a lawyer has done during those years. Has the attorney successfully resolved wrongful death cases at trial, or has the lawyer always looked for a quick settlement and an easy way out?
- Dedication: Experienced dabblers are not much better. Many attorneys spend many years handling a few wrongful death cases, mostly for friends and family. Additionally, these lawyers often cherry-pick the best possible cases. They aren’t prepared to fight, and they certainly aren’t prepared to fight for you.
- Accessibility: This often-overlooked quality may be the most important one. Attorneys should be physically accessible. Wrongful death survivors are already dealing with a lot. They don’t need to drive across town to see their attorneys. Furthermore, attorneys must be professionally accessible. When clients have concerns, their lawyers should personally address those concerns.
All these qualities enable a Columbia personal injury lawyer to develop a clear vision for the case. If the attorney doesn’t quickly have such a vision, keep looking.
Your Legal Options
Vision is doubly important in wrongful death cases, because as mentioned, these cases are not just complex. They’re convoluted. To simplify the process, and to speed compensation and justice to survivors who sorely need both, most attorneys focus on:
- Ordinary Negligence: Usually, ordinary negligence is a lack of ordinary care. This legal theory, which usually applies in most swimming pool drowning and other premises liability cases, is based on the story of the Good Samaritan. Just like this man went out of his way to help an injured traveler, property owners must go out of their way to prevent accidents.
- Negligence Per Se: This legal shortcut often applies in car crash claims. Driver error, like running a stop sign, speeding, or driving while intoxicated, causes over 98 percent of the car crashes in South Carolina. If the tortfeasor violated a safety law, and that violation substantially caused injury, the tortfeasor could be liable for damages as a matter of law.
In wrongful death claims, these damages normally include compensation for pecuniary losses, such as the decedent’s final medical bills as well as the decedent’s pain and suffering. Survivors might be entitled to compensation for their own grief and suffering under another legal theory, like negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Reach Out to a Hard-Hitting Richland County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.