Loss of a Loved One: A staggering 31,785 victims died in traffic crashes in 2022, which doesn’t factor in other examples of wrongful death lawsuits like medical malpractice or workplace accidents.
Losing a loved one in a wrongful accident will wreak havoc on your mental and physical well-being. Because of this, you must seek legal advice to guide you through the process.
If you’re currently in this situation, know that we’re here for you. Here’s how to deal with the loss of a loved one.
Hire an Attorney (Loss of a Loved One)
Before you start grieving a friend or family member after a wrongful accident, you must seek legal advice. Navigating wrongful death law is impossible without a lawyer’s know-how, and you shouldn’t deal with this yourself.
Instead, contact your support network and ask whether they can recommend a professional, especially if they’ve been in a similar situation. You should also Google “wrongful death attorney (your area)” and dive deep into the top hits.
Ideally, the candidate should have at least three stars and a list of positive reviews. Don’t be afraid to contact past clients and ask whether the attorney was worth the time or money.
Looking for a good place to start? Then, contact a reputable firm like Alpha Accident Lawyers for inspiration.
Identify the Party Responsible for the Death
In most states, a wrongful death is caused when someone has been negligent or intentional. This covers a range of accidents, but mainly vehicle collisions, being involved with toxic chemicals, or if the victim was sold defective products. Once it’s clear who was at fault, then you can open the case.
File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If the defendant refuses to settle or pay for damages, your lawyer will file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf. This should break down the case by discussing the date and time, what caused it, and the amount of compensation.
Generally, the defendant will have 30 days for a response and should admit or deny the allegations. It’s unlikely that they won’t reply because your lawyer will then move for a default judgment, making it easier for you to win the case.
In the worst-case scenario, you’ll attend a trial to seek compensation. This could take at least a week and lawyers will cross-examine both parties. If you’re unhappy with the verdict, try and appeal to a higher court.
Understand the Different Stages of Grief
Fighting for justice while losing someone is traumatic, so it’s important to know how to cope mentally.
If you haven’t been in this situation before, familiarize yourself with the different stages of grief so you know what to expect. First, you’ll experience denial where it feels impossible to accept that your loved one has passed away. Although it’s frustrating, it’s your brain’s coping mechanism and will protect you from overwhelming emotions.
When reality sets in, especially when handling the wrongful death lawsuit, you’ll feel enraged. You’ll likely direct it toward the defendant, a higher power, or even towards life.
In many cases, the bereaved will experience depression when they understand how it impacts their life. This can manifest as insomnia, crying, and a decreased appetite. Luckily, the final stage is acceptance where you still grieve your loved one but realize that it’s time to move forward.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
The best method of coping with loss is acknowledging your feelings. A common mistake is not facing your emotions and avoiding the pain.
The problem is that you’re only prolonging the pain, so it’s better to experience all shades of emotions so it’s easier to move through the stages of grief.
Take Care of Yourself (Loss of a Loved One)
You can’t honor your loved one if you’re not caring for your own well-being. Because grief is intense, it’s easy to load up on junk food and not add any movement to your day.
Even if you need help from a friend, try and follow a healthy meal plan so you get the necessary nutrients. If working out feels impossible, schedule a morning or afternoon walk where you can stretch your legs and get into nature. It’s a great way to process any difficult emotions and soak up Vitamin D.
Further, make sure you’re getting a good night’s shut-eye. A good rule of thumb is to sleep for seven hours so that you wake up feeling refreshed. If you’re struggling, try turning on soothing music and avoid using your smartphone in the evening as the blue light can keep you awake.
Celebrate Their Life
We get so consumed with the loss that we forget to celebrate our loved one’s life. Gather their closest friends and dedicate an evening to honoring the deceased’s life.
You can even swap this for a funeral, which is notorious for being depressing.
Accept That Grief Is Unpredictable
Although there are different stages of grief, the process is not always linear.
In fact, we forget that you’ll crumple when you least expect it. For instance, it could be when you’re driving and their song comes on or you see someone similar on the street. Don’t freak out if painful memories arise, simply accept them and go somewhere quiet to cry.
Be Patient With the Process (Loss of a Loved One)
There’s no perfect length for grief, so don’t feel frustrated if you see people move on faster. You may even have times when you wonder whether you’ll feel normal again. During those difficult moments, sit with the notion and trust that you can survive this.
If you can’t be patient, ask yourself how you’d treat a friend who is dealing with grief. This will help you see the situation with compassion, especially if the wrongful death lawsuit is making things harder.
Journal Your Feelings
Give yourself time to reflect on the past and journal your feelings. You needn’t be confident about writing for it to work as long as you let your emotions spill over the page. You can either write about your loved one or even discuss the lawsuit and how you’re dealing with the ordeal.
If you’re not a fan of writing, draw your emotions instead. It could be expressing a particular feeling or drawing a particular scene of when you were with the deceased.
Reach Out to Your Support Network
No man is an island, so reach out to your loved ones for support. You can either connect with your family or mutual friends who are going through the same emotional turmoil.
Or, if you don’t want to overload loved ones, search for a grief support group in your area for invaluable advice.
Seek Professional Help (Loss of a Loved One)
Regardless of how well you’re grieving, seeking professional help is a great solution. It’s wise to ask your physician for recommendations or attendees in the grief support group, as they likely have a list.
A major benefit of seeing a therapist is that they’ll help you explore emotions and teach you coping skills on how to manage grief. Also, it gives you a safe space where you can divulge your deepest emotions without the fear of being judged.
Therapists will also give you advice on how to heal at your own pace. This can sound impossible if you’re only connecting with friends or researching tips online.
If you’re still struggling, ask your physician for medication so that you can feel better.
Stay Connected With the Deceased
Sure, you must move on, but having an occasional chat with the deceased lets you keep their spirit alive.
Many times, the bereaved can sense the dead near them, whether it’s a gut feeling or smelling their favorite perfume. Although it seems supernatural, talk to the dead in your head or even out loud to maintain the bond.
And, if you haven’t already, connect with the deceased person’s friends and family. This will help you support one another throughout this difficult time.
Moving On Doesn’t Mean Forgetting
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that moving forward is forgetting your loved one. In fact, it’s completely the opposite. The deceased would want you to be happy, so honor their wishes.
Eventually, the pain should be easier to bear and the love you have for your loved one will always remain.
We’re Here to Help You Grieve the Loss of a Loved One
Hopefully, you’ll use these tips to navigate a wrongful death lawsuit and cope with the loss of a loved one.
Work with a reputable lawyer to win the lawsuit and stay connected to your network for extra support. You should also seek professional help and take care of yourself, regardless of how hard things are. Good luck with the grieving process.
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