What Should I Do After a Car Wreck Death in Charlotte, NC525 North Tryon Street, Suite 1729
Charlotte, NC 28202
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Car Wreck Death in Charlotte, NC
Suppose you've lost a family member recently due to a fatal car accident. In that case, you're probably dealing with a flood of emotions, including shock, grief, and confusion. At Morgan and Morgan, we believe no mourning family member should feel alone in this situation. While we're one of the largest law firms in the US, our law firm is still family-owned, and we know that family comes first. We know a little about tragedy too. In fact, that's why John Morgan, the founder of Morgan and Morgan, went to law school in the first place. After his brother was paralyzed in a work accident, his family used the wrong type of attorney, and powerful corporate lawyers trampled upon their case. Since then, John Morgan vowed he would make a difference for the regular people, and that's just what his law firm has been doing ever since, going up against elitist lawyers for the people.
In 2021, North Carolina saw the worst increase in traffic deaths in two decades. One thousand seven hundred fifty-five people lost their lives. Many of these fatal accidents were the result of speeding and distracted driving. Both of which are negligent behavior on behalf of the driver. Your family has rights after a wrongful death. If you're asking the question, "what should I do after a car wreck death in Charlotte, NC," we have answers. Here are some practical steps to start with:
Focus on Your Own Medical Care First
If you were also a victim in the same car wreck, seeking your own medical care is crucial. Often, after a fatal car wreck, any witnesses will be in shock and overcome with grief. However, getting yourself checked out is essential because some injuries aren't readily apparent, especially when you've got the adrenaline pumping through your body. The release of a flood of adrenaline is a natural defense mechanism our bodies initiate as the result of a traumatic experience. While at the hospital, ask a family member or friend to go to the scene of the accident and take pictures and videos of the wreck and accident scene. If you have a dash cam, give them or police officers instructions on how to preserve this evidence.
Preservation of Evidence
Whether you were involved in the accident or not, the preservation of evidence is a critical step. While the hours and days after a fatal car accident can be harrowing and stressful, it's vital to take action to collect and preserve evidence. At this point, you may want to contact Morgan and Morgan's wrongful death lawyers to conduct their own investigation. Talk to the police to detail as much as you might know about the accident if you were involved. Regardless, you'll need to get a copy of the police report, other driver's contact and insurance information, and any witness statements and contact information.
You should obtain 10 to 15 certified death certificates from the vital records office for an insurance claim and other end-of-life actions you'll need to take, such as closing bank accounts and credit cards. You'll also need to submit a death registration in the county where they passed.
Because your loved one died in a car wreck, you may want to consider having the coroner perform an autopsy to confirm the cause of death and document injuries. If you're not sure if this step is necessary, we can help advise you.
Assume Responsibility for the Estate
You may already be the chosen executor of your loved one's estate or have to take legal action with the courts to assume this responsibility. You'll need to manage all the remaining property, money, other assets, and debts. As an executor, you have the legal power to control the deceased's legal and financial affairs.
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Should I Contact Morgan and Morgan's Wrongful Death Lawyers in Charlotte, NC?
If you lost a loved one due to a car wreck in Charlotte, NC, reach out to our experienced wrongful death attorneys. Suppose the other driver was careless or reckless in their behavior. In that case, you and your surviving family members might be entitled to compensation. We understand this is a difficult time, and our compassionate lawyers will explain your options for a legal claim. We'll review the facts of your claim and let you know what you may be able to expect during the claims process.
Should I Notify the Insurance Company?
To initiate a wrongful death claim, we'll need to put the at-fault party and their insurance company on notice of our intentions. If any other relevant parties are involved, we'll notify them too. For example, suppose your loved one was involved with a driver in a company vehicle. In that case, their employer may be included in the claim. However, some accidents could affect a multitude of parties. For instance, in a commercial trucking accident, the parties could consist of the driver, the company they work for, a truck part manufacturer (if faulty mechanics had anything to do with the crash), and even the company that loads the truck. Sometimes overloaded or improperly secured cargo can cause an accident.
What are the Benefits of a Morgan and Morgan Investigation?
The insurance company will conduct its own investigation. Still, it's highly beneficial to have your legal representatives perform an independent investigation. Relying solely on the insurance company's investigation could leave you with less compensation than you deserve, particularly when it's their policyholder at fault.
Our investigators examine the scene of the accident to see if important details may have been missed, such as undocumented road hazards and nearby CCTV footage. If there were road hazards like a pothole or a missing traffic sign, the city, county, or federal government may have some fault. Additionally, another perspective of the accident caught on a home security camera may be able to provide pertinent details that were overlooked. We'll also work with you to obtain your loved one's medical records and any other paperwork related to their death for evidence.
How to Communicate With the Insurance Company?
Right after the death of a loved one, you're bearing the burden of a lot of emotional trauma. In this state, you may want to reconsider talking to the insurance company on your own. If you were in an accident, they would likely want your statement. However, you don't necessarily want to make any offhand statements that may hurt your claim. Instead, tell them you will return their call and get in touch with us. We'll help you prepare for the kind of questions they may ask to ensure you don't damage your claim's potential. Once we've taken on your case, we will take over all communication with the insurance companies and any other relevant parties so you can grieve in peace.
How to Handle Medical Bills?
In a tragic accident requiring medical care before death, medical providers will expect payment from the estate. Managing these bills can be exhausting, especially if the estate doesn't have funds to cover these medical bills. Under such circumstances, it's not a good idea to ignore these bills because the estate could wind up in collections causing more frustration to an already complex process. Your loved one may have had some type of life or accidental death insurance that could be used to stave off these creditors and pay for funeral and burial expenses until your wrongful death claim comes through. Suppose accidental death or life insurance isn't enough to pay off medical providers. In that case, we can negotiate with them on your behalf to suspend the payment until we arrive at a settlement or court award for wrongful death. Hospitals are used to such arrangements and file a lien on any future settlement.
How to hold the At-Fault Party Accountable?
A wrongful death claim could recover costs and losses for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost income
- Loss of future income
- Loss of household services
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering the victim may have experienced prior to death
- Loss of affection
- Loss of guidance, security, and comfort (for underaged and dependent children)
- Punitive damages (if the at-fault party was guilty of extreme recklessness such as drunk driving)
For a successful wrongful death claim or lawsuit, the fault of the accident must be established. That's why we do our own intensive investigation. Once we have the evidence, we offer this to the other party's insurance company and work to negotiate a full and fair settlement for your family. If the insurance company isn't willing to take responsibility for their client's negligence, we then prepare to go to trial. Working with an attorney that is willing and ready to take this next step is vital. If you find yourself working with a law team that rarely, if ever, goes to trial, you run the risk of getting an unfair settlement because they would rather avoid the hassle.
We believe you should never settle for less than what is fair compensation. That's why we employ over 900 trial-ready lawyers at Morgan and Morgan. Our success stories number in the tens of thousands, and we find that our jury verdicts exceed pre-trial offers by substantial amounts. That doesn't mean you shouldn't settle for a fair offer. The trial aspect should only be visited after all other avenues for negotiation have been exhausted. However, working with a law team that approaches each claim as if it will end up in court can prove invaluable in your pursuit of a favorable settlement. Our law offices are well known in the insurance industry as we have a reputation for not backing down, which means you can rest on our strength.
Not only are we one of the largest law firms in the country, but we also have the resources and a broad network of professionals to aid in proving your claim. You will have the expertise of professional investigators, forensic scientists, expert witnesses, competent support staff, and an experienced wrongful death lawyer fighting on your side.
When it comes to something as important as your family's financial future, don't settle for less than the best. Our services are free if we don't win. Now that you've asked "what should I do after a car wreck death in Charlotte, NC," and learned important next steps, it's time to contact Morgan and Morgan for a free and confidential case evaluation. While we understand nothing can replace your loved one, we will ensure you get the compensation you deserve to provide for your family's needs.