do I need an autopsy to have a wrongful death lawsuit

There are no words that can describe the pain and suffering for a family after the loss of a loved one. If that loss was due to a wrongful death, it can be especially painful to think and imagine the horrors your loved one faced. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit won’t fix the damage that’s been done, but you can be the voice of the deceased and force the defendant to acknowledge their wrongdoing and and make right by it and hopefully prevent it from happening to someone else in the future.

A loved one dying suddenly can be stressful and carry an uncertainty of what to do next. This is especially true if you do feel that your loved one died due to negligence or malicious behavior. The best step you can take, especially when thinking of taking legal action, is you must demand an autopsy immediately. Aside from that, you will want to start the legal process sooner than later.

An autopsy is not always required to prove wrongful death, but is crucial as it can help prove with certainty what caused the individuals death. With an array of circumstances resulting in wrongful death cases, the most common are by automobile accidents and medical malpractice. Autopsies are generally a good idea when the cause of death is unknown or if you suspect you know why someone passed, but can’t say for sure.

In other words, when there is a car accident that causes a death, an autopsy is helpful, but it won’t end the case most likely if you don’t have one. On the other hand, if someone goes to the hospital with stomach pain and dies the next day, an autopsy is likely the only way to prove that the hospital was negligent.

Any evaluation to a wrongful death claim begins with one simple question: What was the cause of death? When a sudden death occurs and is believed to be done by negligence or malicious behavior of a medical professional or another individual playing a role, an autopsy can help answer that.

Once the cause of death is determined, a lawyer can help determine whether the death was preventable or not. This is where the real issue lies: was the defendant negligent and did their negligence cause your loved ones death. This information is crucial to your case.  While it may be the last thing you want to do, not having an autopsy could cause you to have problems finding a lawyer and/or cause you to lose the case when it goes to trial.

You may be lead to believe that an autopsy is unnecessary by a healthcare provider, as the death seems clear and obvious. The truth is there are many times when a health care provider/facility may not want to perform an autopsy since it could reveal they could be partially liable for the death.

We recognize how devastating the sudden loss of a loved one can be and how the decision to have an autopsy performed can be equally emotional. But it is important to remember that an autopsy is extremely valuable to a wrongful death case. Grieving can be very different and difficult for anyone. We are here to be the voice to families affected by wrongful death. Give us a call for any questions or guidance in your wrongful death case.  We can be reached at 312-346-5320 for a free consultation any time.