You don’t need to have all the answers to initiate a wrongful death action in British Columbia. A good personal injury law firm can lend investigative muscle to determine the cause, as well as any negligent acts leading up to your loved one’s untimely demise. While every tragic passing seems “wrong,” the Family Compensation Act allows family members to collect reparations when another party is liable. If you’re looking for Victoria wrongful death lawyers, consider Preszler Law, a reputable personal injury firm with decades of experience, located downtown at 1321 Blanchard Street, Suite 301.
What to Do If You Suspect Wrongful Death
If you suspect foul play in your loved one’s death…
- Find the right lawyer. A personal injury lawyer with particular experience in wrongful death actions will be your best bet in pursuing compensation through the civil court system. Had your loved one survived, he or she would have been able to pursue financial reparations to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Similarly, a wrongful death lets a spouse and dependent children sue for medical bills, loss of past and future income, pain and suffering, as well as loss of household services, loss of companionship and guidance, and funeral expenses. The best lawyers are not the most expensive lawyers – but, rather, those with a reputation for success and fair contingency rate.
- Know if you have a sound claim. A free consultation with a wrongful death law firm will let you know whether you have grounds to pursue legal action or not. Generally, you must begin a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death. Most commonly, spouses (or common-law partners who lived with the decedent for at least two years) or dependent children are considered the rightful heirs, but there may be circumstances where a parent, stepparent, or grandparent can collect for a limited amount of damages. If there are no beneficiaries, a personal representative may be able to seek recompense on behalf of the estate.
- Organize your evidence. Hang onto all copies of medical visits and bills, as well as out-of-pocket expenses and wage statements. It can be helpful to keep a journal that details how the death has affected your everyday life. Police reports and autopsies are other helpful documents to have. A good lawyer can help you obtain additional forms of evidence, such as expert medical witnesses, accident reconstructionist testimony, and forensic financial analysis. All of this will help you maximize your recovery, so your family is provided for well into the future.
- Avoid dealing directly with insurance companies. Insurers will likely contact you in the days or weeks following your loved one’s death. They might act interested or concerned, but they want to settle the claim as quickly as possible for as little as possible. When you work with our team of Victoria wrongful death lawyers, we deal directly with insurers or the ICBC to make sure you’re not pressured into signing away your legal rights.
We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing upfront and nothing at all until we recover compensation on your behalf. Whether a car accident, workplace mishap, slip and fall, or other sudden cause of death, it’s worth exploring liability issues and the precise circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. Call us today for your free consultation.