Personal Injury Attorney
When a family suffers the loss of a loved one due to the negligent acts of another, the surviving family members lives are turned upside down. If the deceased was an adult, the spouse and children are faced with establishing an entirely new order to their lives. Funeral arrangements and notifications fill up time and slow down the partner’s ability to process the loss and gain clarity as to the cause. If the deceased was the primary breadwinner, the family often struggles to maintain the standard of living. When the deceased parent was the primary caretaker, the partner is left trying to provide the structure and nurturing necessary for the family’s health. And when the deceased is a child, many marriages fail in the wake of the loss.
Reaching out to an attorney for advice and representation takes an enormous amount of courage and strength for the surviving partner or parent. It is common for attorneys working in this area of the law to provide grief counseling referrals to clients. Often being involved in a lawsuit can hinder the grief process as clients struggle to move beyond the “blame” phase. Experienced attorneys understand the emotional toll that both the loss and impending litigation takes on their clients and attempt to provide a safe, supportive environment for each family member.
As a wrongful death lawsuit proceeds, many difficult and uncomfortable conversations must take place between the attorney and client. Unfortunately, one of the first of those conversations requires an attorney to explain that when a person loses a loved one, the law will attempt to make them “whole” in the only way the law is able to do so – via a monetary award. And when an attorney builds a case, a widow or parent frequently becomes angry that their loved one’s life is being boiled down to a dollar amount. That is a normal reaction. Attorneys who work in the area of wrongful death understand the emotional reaction to this fact of life.
In preparing a wrongful death case, attorneys look at the life of the deceased. What was the person’s value as far as future earnings and benefits which would have been provided to the family? If the parent was divorced, were they active in the child’s life? If the deceased was a child, what would that child’s impact have been on the family as the parent’s aged? The emotional toll is not without merit and experienced attorneys will portray the life of your loved one and the importance of their presence in your family’s life with dignity. Often materials and slideshows prepared for mediations are given to the family as a memorial tribute when a settlement is achieved.
It is important that the family members of the deceased obtain a consultation with a wrongful death lawyer who understands not only how the loss occurred but also what the ongoing needs of the surviving family members will be.