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How a Savannah Wrongful Death Lawyer Investigates Your Case

How a Savannah Wrongful Death Lawyer Investigates Your CaseInvestigating a wrongful death case requires a meticulous and systematic approach. As Savannah personal injury attorneys, our goal is to uncover evidence that establishes negligence, liability, and the extent of damages to best seek compensation on your loved one’s behalf.

A well-conducted investigation serves several purposes:

  • Establishing liability. Proving negligence or wrongful actions is essential for holding the responsible party accountable. Investigations aim to gather evidence that demonstrates clearly how the negligence occurred and who is at fault.
  • Determining damages. Assessing the full extent of damages is vital for obtaining fair compensation. This includes economic damages such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
  • Supporting your claims. Comprehensive evidence provides a strong foundation for legal claims. It helps us build a compelling case and increases the likelihood of success in negotiations or court proceedings.
  • Countering defenses. In some cases, defendants may attempt to shift blame or raise defenses to dispute liability. A thorough investigation anticipates these potential challenges and ensures our legal team is well-prepared to counter them.

Initial case assessment

Before diving into the investigative process, our Savannah wrongful death attorneys conduct an initial case assessment to understand the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s  death. This involves gathering information from the surviving family members, reviewing available documentation, and assessing the potential strengths and weaknesses of the potential case.

The first step is to meet with the surviving family members to gain insights into the incident. We listen to your story, emotions, and concerns, laying the foundation for a compassionate and client-focused approach.

We also carefully review relevant documents, such as police reports, medical records, and incident reports. These documents provide a preliminary understanding of the events leading to the wrongful death.

Depending on the complexity of the case, we may also consult with experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, or forensic experts, to assess the technical aspects of the incident.

Steps in investigating wrongful death cases

Once the initial case assessment is complete, the investigative process begins. Each case is unique, but the following steps are common in a thorough investigation of wrongful death cases:

  • Scene examination. We visit the scene of the incident to gather firsthand information. This may involve documenting the layout, road conditions, signage, and any other factors that could have contributed to the wrongful death.
  • Witness interviews. Interviewing eyewitnesses is crucial for obtaining firsthand accounts of the incident. Witness statements can provide valuable perspectives and corroborate or challenge other pieces of evidence.
  • Review of surveillance footage. If available, surveillance footage from nearby cameras can provide visual evidence of the events leading to the wrongful death. We work to secure and analyze relevant footage to support your case.
  • Documentation of physical evidence. Our attorneys can also collect and document physical evidence from the scene. This may include damaged vehicles, defective products, or hazardous conditions. Preservation of evidence is vital to prevent tampering or deterioration.
  • Examination of medical records. Next, we thoroughly review the medical records of the deceased to understand the extent of injuries and medical treatment received. Medical experts may be consulted to establish a direct link between the incident and the cause of death.
  • Expert analysis. We also engage experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, to analyze the technical aspects of the incident. Their expertise helps in understanding how the events unfolded and can be instrumental in establishing liability.
  • Employment of private investigators. In some cases, our Savannah personal injury attorneys may hire private investigators to conduct inquiries, gather additional evidence, or locate potential witnesses.
  • Review of the defendant’s history. Our attorneys investigate the history of the defendant, especially if there are allegations of a pattern of negligence or wrongful actions. This can strengthen your case by demonstrating a history of similar incidents.
  • Consultation with industry experts. For cases involving specific industries or professions, we may consult with experts in those fields to understand industry standards and norms. This is particularly relevant in cases of medical malpractice, product liability, or construction site accidents.
  • Social media and electronic evidence. Finally, our Savannah wrongful death attorneys scrutinize social media and electronic communications for any relevant information. Posts, messages, or photos may provide insights into the activities of the parties involved before, during, or after the incident.

Overcoming challenges in investigations

The investigative process is not without challenges. There may be various obstacles in gathering admissible and compelling evidence. Some common challenges include:

  • Limited evidence at the scene. In some cases, the scene may be altered or limited evidence may be available. We work diligently to get information from the available sources and present a compelling case based on what is present in each case.
  • Conflicting witness statements. Witnesses may provide conflicting accounts of the incident. Our Savannah injury attorneys employ strategies to reconcile differences, assess credibility, and present a cohesive narrative.
  • Uncooperative defendants or insurers. Defendants or their insurance companies may be uncooperative. In some cases, we may need to use legal means to compel the production of relevant documents or information.
  • Time sensitivity. Time is a critical factor in investigations. Our Savannah attorneys act promptly to preserve evidence, interview witnesses while memories are fresh, and adhere to statutes of limitations for wrongful death, which in Georgia is two years.

The role of evidence in wrongful death litigation

The success of a wrongful death case hinges on the strength of the evidence available and ultimately presented. Evidence serves as the backbone of our legal arguments and can significantly impact negotiations or court proceedings. The types of evidence we commonly use in Savannah wrongful death cases include:

  • Witness statements. Eyewitness accounts provide valuable perspectives on the events leading to the wrongful death. Witness statements are used to establish a factual timeline and corroborate other pieces of evidence.
  • Medical records. A comprehensive review and understanding of the deceased’s medical records helps establish the link between the incident and the cause of death. This review provides insights into the nature and extent of injuries sustained.
  • Expert testimony. Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, or industry experts, provide specialized knowledge and analysis to support the legal arguments.
  • Physical evidence. Physical evidence, such as damaged vehicles, defective products, or hazardous conditions, serves as tangible proof of the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death. Proper documentation and preservation are critical.
  • Surveillance footage. Visual evidence from surveillance cameras can provide a clear depiction of the events. It is often used to support or contradict witness statements and establish liability.
  • Electronic communications. Social media posts, text messages, emails, or other electronic communications may contain relevant information about the activities or state of mind of the liable parties.
  • Defendant’s history. Establishing a pattern of negligence or wrongful actions by the defendant also strengthens your case. Evidence of previous incidents or legal actions can be compelling in demonstrating a history of misconduct.
  • Industry standards. Expert testimony on industry standards and regulations can help establish whether the defendant’s actions deviated from accepted practices. This is particularly relevant in cases involving professional negligence or workplace accidents.

The legal implications of investigations

Once the evidence has been gathered, our wrongful death attorneys use it strategically to pursue legal action. The legal implications of a thorough investigation include:

  • Demand letters and negotiations. Once we have compelling evidence, we may send demand letters to the opposing party or their insurance company to begin early negotiations. Negotiations often ensue, intending to reach a fair settlement without going to trial.
  • Trial preparation. If a settlement cannot be reached, the collected evidence becomes critical in preparing for trial. Our attorneys will use it to construct a persuasive narrative and present a strong case in court.
  • Legal strategies based on evidence. The nature and strength of the evidence influence legal strategies. We may leverage certain pieces of evidence to establish liability, counter defenses, or demonstrate the extent of damages.
  • Admissibility of evidence. Our Savannah wrongful death attorneys must also ensure that the evidence collected is admissible in court. This involves following proper legal procedures, adhering to rules of evidence, and addressing any challenges raised by the opposing party.
  • Client counseling. Throughout the legal process, we provide ongoing counseling to our clients. We explain the significance of the evidence, manage expectations, and guide you through the complexities of the legal system.

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, the attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton want to help you achieve justice for your losses. We thoroughly investigate all the circumstances surrounding the accident. We hold the right people or parties responsible for the loss of your loved one, working to secure maximum compensation for your family. To learn more about how we can help with your case, call our offices or fill out our contact form. We serve clients from our Atlanta and Savannah offices.

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