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Starting a McKinney Wrongful Death Case

Starting a McKinney wrongful death case is a challenging ordeal, both legally and emotionally. In the midst of grieving, a family must also work to hold a negligent party accountable for their parent, child, or sibling’s death. Fortunately, an experienced wrongful death lawyer may be able to help collect evidence, file a claim, and begin the litigation process.

Statute of Limitations

Wrongful death cases start upon the injury of an individual when that injury led to death. At that point in time, the clock on the statute of limitations starts to run. An individual typically has two years to bring most actions, and there are some actions that are limited even further. With interactions against a city or municipality in Texas, for instance, an individual may have less than a year to file a claim.

Probate Process

Wrongful death cases usually begin with identifying the permitted plaintiff. Typically, the beneficiaries—either the spouse, the children, or the parents of the deceased—have a right to bring a wrongful death case—and they are the only ones who can bring it. If one of them brings a wrongful death case, then the others can be joined either voluntarily or involuntarily. The survival action, which is brought by the deceased person’s estate, is usually joined in the same action.

Sometimes, a probate administration is opened for the deceased person. If there is a will, the will can be probated. If there is not a will, a probate administration can still be opened to finalize all matters associated with the deceased person.  Occasionally, probate administration is opened specifically to pursue the survival action.

For all practical purposes, everybody is joined in the same action. When somebody has passed, there is no reason not to bring a claim as quickly as one can so they can preserve liability evidence and develop the wrongful death evidence while it is still fresh and while there is access to it.

Collecting and Preserving Evidence

A wrongful death attorney should get involved as early in the case as possible that errors are not made in evidence preservation. In the hours and days that follow a wrongful death, evidence begins to naturally disappear.

After a fatal car accident, for example, evidence such as the ECM or black box of vehicles involved may be automatically deleted, and evidence at the scene of the wreck could disappear with rain or traffic. It is possible to lose tire marks, yaw marks, and debris on the road, all of which could be very helpful in reconstructing exactly what happened. That can all disappear in a matter of days if it has not been preserved.

If a product liability case is going to be considered it is vital to preserve the product that was the cause of death.  In addition, when the manner and means of death is not absolutely obvious, having an autopsy performed can make or break a wrongful death case.  The specific source of injury leading to death, levels of chemicals in the blood, and even whether the death was natural or caused by an external source all is normally verified through an autopsy.

Hire an Attorney as Quickly as Possible to Start a Wrongful Death Claim

As distasteful as it is, very often, an attorney needs to be on the scene preserving evidence even before the person has been buried because there is only one opportunity to preserve the evidence. There is no other chance to do it. Every day that it is delayed makes it much harder for that evidence to be preserved. If you believe that your loved one’s death occurred due to another entity’s negligence, reach out to an attorney today for help.

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