Wrongful Death

Administration of an Estate after Wrongful Death

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Wrongful Death Estate Administration

A loved one’s death is painful enough, but when you know another person caused it either through a car accident, medical error, workplace accident, or something else, it is so much worse.  You and your loved ones want to hold someone responsible.  You want to find out what happened, why it happened, and even to make sure that it does not happen to another family.  In the end, you want someone to pay for their harmful actions, and the first step to do so, if the deceased loved one does not have a will, is to establish an administrator of the estate.

Administrator of Estate Hires Injury Attorney

The administrator of the estate will make the decisions for the deceased person and their family.  If that person is appointed by a will, they will follow what is outlined in the will and can immediately hire an attorney to assist in determining who may be responsible for a wrongful death.  If there is no will, then an administrator will need to be appointed.

The process to get an administrator appointed varies based on the state that you are in.  In West Virginia, the process involved filing a form with the county clerk in which the person died.  Although this may be the first step in the probate process, it is the most important step when it comes to hiring a law firm to explore the liability of individuals or organizations involved in the passing of your loved one.

A Wrongful Death Claim and the Estate

A wrongful death suit is filed when someone causes the death of another.  When that occurs, certain family members of the deceased can seek recovery from the responsible party or parties.  Most wrongful death cases end in the court system as they tend to be higher in the amount recovered, and so most insurance companies will fight even harder.

Once the administrator is established, a contract can be signed with a law firm to represent the estate in the wrongful death claim.  The firm hired will begin to investigate what occurred and who could potentially be liable.  That is why it is crucial to get an administrator appointed, and a firm hired quickly to ensure that important evidence can be discovered.  As time passes, finding and preserving evidence can become more difficult.

will signing

Car Accidents, Truck Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, and Wrongful Deaths

One of the more commons wrongful death cases we see are deaths caused by car, truck, or motorcycle accidents.  Under those circumstances, quickly preserving evidence is a priority, especially if road conditions or issues with the vehicles are involved.  It is important that an administrator is appointed and takes the lead on hiring our firm and filing the claim.

Accidents ending in death can involve a great number of insurance companies, depending on who caused the death and if there are other vehicles involved.  As an example, we had a case where the driver of a work vehicle was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer.  In this example, there was the driver’s employer’s auto insurance and their umbrella insurance policy as well as the tractor-trailers insurance, the owner of the truck’s insurance, and the insurance that covered the trailer attached to the truck and the umbrella policies for those companies.  In the end, there were six insurance policies with six separate adjusters and four attorneys that our firm had to deal with to resolve the claim.

Hiring a Wrongful Death Injury Attorney

It is important, regardless of how your loved one came to pass, that if there was a responsible party that you reach out to our firm for a free case evaluation.  Grieving families already have a lot to deal with; handling multiple insurance companies is not something that they have to deal with.

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Written by
Tim Miley
Tim Miley is the founder of The Miley Legal Group. After earning his undergraduate degree in finance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, Tim attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he received his Juris Doctorate. Tim is admitted to practice in all courts in West Virginia and is currently a member of the American Association for Justice, the West Virginia American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Bar Association and the Harrison County Bar Association.
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