Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC
The Toledo wrongful death claims process often begins when a close family member of the deceased contacts legal counsel about possibly seeking damages for their loss. A wrongful death attorney will then follow up by finding authorization information in regards to opening an estate. A compassionate injury attorney can help families seek peace of mind when pursuing compensation for the loss of their loved one.
In order to bring a wrongful death action, a person has to open an estate in the county where the individual lived. Typically if there is a will, the will would appoint a specific individual to be the executor or the executrix of the estate. If there is no will, there is a chronology of who would be the preferred people.
Typically it would be a spouse and if not that, it would be a child or parent. If there is no dispute and everybody signs off, a person could have any blood relative close to the deceased individual be in charge of the estate. Oftentimes in a will, a person will have an attorney, a trust officer from a bank, or a friend as the executor of the estate.
The wrongful death case starts with filing the paperwork in probate court and opening up the estate. The person who is the executor or the administrator of the estate has the authority to enter into a contingency contract with the attorney. That contingency contract is filed with the probate court. That is typically how a case starts and how an attorney for that case gets hired.
A wrongful death case would be investigated the same as any other personal injury case. The distinction would be that the individual involved in the tragedy would not be alive, so they would be unable to gain any working knowledge from that individual. A person would get all the police reports, try to talk to witnesses, try to get photos of the scene, and try to look at all the medical records involved.
Based on that information, they will try to come up with come up with their theory of liability and determine what experts they need, whether it is an economist, a liability experts, an accident reconstructionist, or an engineer. It is much the same as any sort of case except they do not have the ability to talk to the individual who was killed in the accident.
The evidence gathered would be very similar. A major distinction is a person would be gathering damage evidence that would be linked to the death of an individual. Therefore, the grief counselor, the clinical psychologist to the beneficiaries, the economist, and the vocationalist determine what the lifetime implications of this person’s death would be on the beneficiaries, but it is along the same lines as a normal personal injury case.
A wrongful death case from start to finish, if it is a simple case and there is policy limits could take as short a time as six months. At the same time some cases have lasted five years. There is no one size fits all to any individual case, so it could be a very short time or it could be five or six years. The duration of a case often depends on the following factors:
A wrongful death case would be completed after there is a trial or a settlement that the wrongful death has been approved by the probate court, after the money has been distributed in accordance with the command of the probate court and after the beneficiaries or creditors have been paid that money. Eventually, the wrongful death case or the probate case is closed in the probate court.
Oftentimes in a wrongful death an autopsy is done that determines the cause of death. Implications would be, for example if it is a wrongful death medical malpractice case, a person would have to prove the departure from the standard of care in medical from medical negligence case, because the departure from the standard of care resulted in the death. The cause of death is an important part of what the burden of proof for the Toledo wrongful death claims process.
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