Losing a loved one in an accident is an unimaginable loss. There is no way to prepare for it, and this unexpected tragedy can often seem impossible to get through.
It can be very hard to figure out the next steps while you’re grieving, so our lead attorney at Norton Frickey P.C. has put together a helpful guide on what to do next below. We are also here if you need legal representation during this time.
Call (719) 634-6450 to speak with our Colorado Springs wrongful death attorney after you follow the first steps below.
Make Arrangements as Soon as Possible
Remember that you don’t have to do everything alone. It can be hard letting others see that you’re grieving, but they are likely grieving as well. Allow other family members to help you through this process.
Here are some examples of tasks that others can handle for you while you’re making important decisions:
- Notify close friends and extended family
- Secure your loved one’s home and/or vehicle
- Check on or care for pets and plants
- Forward your loved one’s mail
While others are taking care of these tasks, you should make certain arrangements immediately. First, contact immediate family members and let them know what happened.
This is an opportunity to comfort each other and divide up tasks to come so that one person isn’t shouldering the burden alone. You might talk about your loved one’s burial wishes or funeral arrangements, and decide what to do next.
Consider these questions with other key family members:
- What did the deceased want? Is there a will that makes their wishes clear?
- Would they prefer burial or cremation?
- What type of funeral service should we have?
- What is within our budget?
If your loved one has already stated their funeral wishes in a will, trust, or other legally binding documents. Respect their wishes.
If there is no will present, follow your instincts when making decisions on your own. You will also want to contact your loved one’s employer. Request information about their benefits, life insurance policies through the company, and any pay due.
What to Do Before and After the Funeral
Following the loss of a loved one, remember that not everything has to be tackled immediately. Give yourself time to grieve. When you’re ready, it’s time to arrange for the funeral and burial or cremation.
Choose a funeral home or mortuary service provider to work with. Pick a location for the services and burial, if applicable.
Prepare an obituary, arrange for a headstone, and enlist help from relatives and friends for the funeral service itself, as well as the post-funeral gathering.
The funeral home you choose can give you death certificates, or you can order them from city hall or your local records office.
You may need death certificates to complete these upcoming tasks after the funeral:
- Notify mortgage companies, financial institutions, and credit reporting agencies
- Notify and terminate insurance policies
- Notify credit reporting agencies
- Cancel utilities and other automated services
- Contact and clear the driver’s license record
- Cancel email accounts, websites, and social media
- Contact a probate attorney and tax preparer
If the death of your loved one was caused by reckless behavior or negligence, now is also a good time to prepare a wrongful death claim. If you’re not sure where to start, you can speak to a wrongful death attorney.
About Wrongful Death Claims
If you lost your loved one due to the actions of another, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death is a death caused by a wrongful act, negligence, or recklessness.
Common causes of wrongful death include vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse. Since the person who died cannot file a personal injury claim, family members or representatives of their estate do so.
Wrongful death claims intend to give the loved one’s survivors compensation for their loss and grief.
Compensation, or “damages,” can cover financial burdens such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Financial losses
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
However, we know that no amount of money can replace the loss of your loved one. In many cases, navigating a wrongful death claim without expert help can add to the stress and emotion of this time.
If you around the Colorado Springs area and have recently lost a loved one to a wrongful death incident, our wrongful death lawyer from Norton Frickey P.C. is here to help.
How Our Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You
At Norton Frickey, we want to help you receive the financial compensation you need to relieve some of the stress and grief you’ll experience after the loss of a loved one. While you make arrangements and adjust to your new normal, we can fight for your loved one’s rights.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions in the Colorado Springs area, allow Norton Frickey P.C. to help.