Wrongful Death Attorney

Shortly after I opened my own law firm, two wrongful death claims came into my office. It might have been the saddest summer I have ever had.

They were both families of young women who had been killed in car accidents. One young woman had been riding her bicycle and was struck by a distracted driver. The other was a teenager in a car full of her friends, drag racing on a two lane road against another car of teens after a day at Six Flags Great America. She was thrown from the car and killed when it flipped over. The parents of each daughter were so grief-stricken and strung-out when they saw me. I counseled them, of course. I prayed with one of the families.

I was glad I knew what legal things to do to help them through such a difficult time.

For example, in these kinds of claims, a probate estate must be opened. The reason is that to prosecute a claim of a decedent, a representative must be appointed for the estate. Otherwise, there is no one with authority to act for the person who was killed in the accident. Because I knew probate, I was able to open an estate for both families, saving the families the hassle of having to go to another attorney. We were able to keep everything under my roof.

Compensation for Wrongful Death

Factors that courts consider when determining wrongful death damages one may receive include:

  • The amount of money earned by the deceased
  • Loss of companionship
  • The savings of the deceased
  • The degree to which survivors were financially dependent on the deceased
  • Expenses incurred by survivors for medical and funeral costs

The Lawyer You Want On Your Side

The legal part of those claims above were not as memorable as what I must describe below.

In one of these cases, the family felt a need to meet with the young man who, in his distraction, had killed their daughter who was riding her bicycle. So the driver’s attorney and I arranged a meeting at a church, mediated by the pastor. During the meeting, the distracted driver read a letter to the mom, asking her forgiveness and promising that he would be handing over his license. She embraced him, forgave him, and now tours local churches, speaking about the power of forgiveness.

It is rare that I feel lucky that my work as an attorney sometimes brings me into the presence of God.