When a person dies because of the behavior or negligence of someone else, their surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation. This type of lawsuit serves as punishment for those responsible for the family member's death and can help fill in the financial gap the person's death created.
A wrongful death attorney helps a victim's family in many ways. They will identify everyone who shares responsibility for the death and which family members can share in the compensation. The attorney will explain how much the compensation should be and handle all of the court procedures and paperwork involved in the case.
It's not always easy to decide which wrongful death attorney to work with. Use these tips to find an experienced, compassionate attorney for your case.
Review Their Experience
Look for attorneys with actual experience in wrongful death cases. Measure this experience by how many wrongful death cases the attorney has handled and the results of those cases.
Ask the attorney whether they've ever handled a case similar to yours. If they have, find out how many they settled favorably or won in court. Trial experience matters. While many wrongful death cases settle outside of court, a seasoned trial attorney might get a better settlement than an attorney who never goes to trial. Insurance companies will feel as if they are taking a risk if they don't offer a fair settlement to a trial attorney.
Evaluate Their Reputation
Check any online reviews of the attorney you are considering. Ask the attorney if you can speak to past clients, who are always a good source of information. If you've used an attorney in the past for another reason, such as buying your home, ask them for recommendations based on their knowledge of the local legal community.
Consider Their Approach
You always want to feel comfortable with your attorney. This is even more important in a wrongful death case.
Investigating your loved one's death, gathering evidence, preparing for the trial, and negotiating a settlement can take anywhere from months to years. Your family must be prepared for a potentially long legal battle to obtain justice. They need to have a wrongful death lawyer they are completely comfortable with to weather this potential battle.
Interview more than one lawyer so you can find the one who makes your family feel the most comfortable. Judge the attorney's willingness to give truthful answers to difficult questions and take your family's needs into account. Consider how well the attorney seems to listen to you and your other family members.
The attorney you chose will have an impact on your case experience and its outcome. Take the time you need to select the right wrongful death attorney for your family.