Dealing with the death of a loved one is a serious blow. It takes a lot to recover from this mentally and emotionally, but it’s even more difficult to contend with if the death happened due to the carelessness or illegal actions of another person or party.
When you’re looking into quality options for wrongful death lawyers, it pays to do some research and legwork. However, many people going through the loss of a loved one end up making some glaring mistakes when trying to hire an attorney.
How do you find the right pro to help with your wrongful death case? More importantly, what mistakes should you avoid? We’re happy to help.
Here are some common mistakes that people make when hiring lawyers for wrongful deaths.
1. Waiting Too Long to Hire an Attorney
If you’re going to hire a personal injury attorney of any type, it’s important to retain them as early in the situation as possible.
There are statutes of limitations for personal injury cases, wrongful death cases included. When you wait too long to file your case, you are likely to miss the statute of limitations, which will render the case null and void.
Each state observes different statutes of limitation periods for wrongful death cases. In many cases, you will have up to 2 years to file a lawsuit.
Aside from the statute of limitations, it’s better to file your case early while the details are still fresh and it’s easier to acquire the evidence that you need. Give your attorney a fighting chance by hiring them early and allowing them plenty of time to bring the case to court.
2. Choosing a Lawyer Without Experience and Credibility
Experience is everything when it comes to hiring an attorney. When you hire a wrongful death lawyer that hasn’t been practicing long, or who hasn’t gotten enough seasoning in their field, you are playing with fire and leaving the case to chance.
First things first, find out what college they got their law degree from, and how they performed in relation to their class. Learn whether they belong to any organizations or law societies, and find out their track record for pursuing wrongful death cases.
Look into references and reviews when you’re interested in hiring an attorney. You can learn about some options for lawyers by touching base with the American Bar Association (ABA) chapter closest to you.
The more groundwork you put into finding an attorney, the easier it’ll be to find someone with the experience to win.
3. Not Paying Attention to the Fee Structure
It’s important that you also ask all the questions you need to related to fee structure. In most circumstances, personal injury cases are tried on the basis of a contingency fee. What this means is that you won’t have to pay anything upfront to retain the attorney.
In fact, if your wrongful death lawyer is charging you money upfront, this should be an automatic red flag. These lawyers will generally charge you a fee in the 30% range. Since your lawyer won’t collect any money from you until they win your case, it motivates them to do their best work and bring your wrongful death situation to a resolution.
4. Failing to Ask Enough Questions Prior to the Hire
It’s also crucial that you ask plenty of questions related to your wrongful death case. Go into the consultation with all of the questions that you need to know, and make certain that you ask them until you get sufficient answers.
Some of the questions that you’ll need to ask them include finding out what kinds of wrongful death cases they try, their estimation of your chances of winning the case, and what kinds of techniques and strategies they will employ.
Ask to see any law journal articles they’ve written or any prior lectures they’ve done. You should also ask them to connect you with prior clients they have worked with, so that you can gauge their experiences.
5. Hiring Someone Who Doesn’t Have Enough Time for Your Case
Another mistake that people make is retaining a lawyer that is too busy for their case. Ask your attorney about their current workload so that you can get a feel for whether or not they will have time for you.
If they are already backed up and dealing with several other clients, it cuts into what they can do for you, which doesn’t allow them to put their best foot forward when trying your case.
6. Retaining a Lawyer That Isn’t a Great Negotiator
Most wrongful death and other personal injury cases end up being negotiated, rather than tried in court. Because of this, several negotiation sessions take place to get you the best possible deal.
Make sure that you ask them about their ability to negotiate so that you can get your desired outcome in the situation.
7. Skimming or Not Reading the Contract
Always take the time to read the contract thoroughly before hiring a lawyer. Do your due diligence so that you’re able to forge agreements that suit you.
Look into all of the clauses that are included in the contract, so that you know exactly what you’re signing up for.
Hire the Best Lawyers for Wrongful Deaths
The tips in this article will help you out when you’re trying to find the best lawyers for wrongful deaths. By asking the right questions and taking the right steps, you will be able to get the desired outcome for your wrongful death case.
The Sweet Law Firm is great at what we do and would be happy to assist you. Take the time to contact us on our site, or call our firm at 1-800-674-7854.