How to Hire Wrongful Death Lawyers: What You Need to Know

hire wrongful death lawyers

Losing a loved one is one of the most stressful life events that you can experience. When your loved one dies as the result of someone’s wrongful actions (either negligence or an intentional act), the experience is that much more distressing. 

When these types of deaths occur, you may want to consider hiring an attorney and filing a wrongful death case. They can help you get money to pay for funeral expenses, lost wages, lost support for children, pain and suffering, and even loss of companionship. 

Read on to learn more about how to hire wrongful death lawyers and what you should look for. 

Read References and Reviews

Your first step is to ask for recommendations from friends and family. You can also utilize your social media networks for recommendations as well. Once you get a list together, start doing your own research.

Read the reviews of each attorney online. Many will post client reviews on their websites, but try to find objective sources, like Google, where you can read more than just glowing reviews. 

Don’t just take the word of others though. Once you get a shortlist of potential attorneys compiled, you should also take the time to speak to each of them, either over the phone or in person. Most attorneys will provide a free case consultation, and you should take advantage of this. 

You should also check with your local or state bar association to make sure they don’t have any grievances filed against them or disciplinary actions. 

Look For Specialization 

Many attorneys are in general practice and handle lots of different types of cases. While this may be fine for certain cases, for a wrongful death case you’ll want an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims, particularly wrongful deaths. 

When the attorney and firm are solely focused on these types of cases, they become experts and know how to build a successful case. 

Understand the Fee Structure 

The cost of the attorney should be one of the most important things you consider. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay unless you win the case. If your case is successful, your attorney will get a percentage of your settlement. 

Their fee varies, but many attorneys charge 33% of the settlement amount. There are other fees associated with your case, however, including expert witnesses, medical exams, obtaining copies of medical records, etc.

These expenses are necessary whether you win or lose the case, and must be paid before a settlement is obtained. Ask any lawyer you are considering who pays these costs upfront and whether you will have to pay these fees if you lose the case. 

Consider Their Experience 

In addition to specializing in personal injury cases, you also want an attorney who has plenty of experience with wrongful death cases. You can also look for an attorney who specializes in the particular type of case you have. For example, if the wrongful death is due to a workplace accident, you may want an attorney who specializes in these specific cases and has experience with them. 

Ask potential attorneys about how long they have been practicing law, how long they have been handling personal injury cases, and how many successful cases they have. Success doesn’t just mean winning a case, either.

Ask about the amounts of the settlements they have gotten for their clients. Trial experience is also important, as your case may go to trial if you can’t reach a fair settlement with the insurance company. If your attorney has limited or no trial experience, you may want to consider someone who does.

Resources Available to Build Your Case

How much time can the attorney dedicate to your case? Will you work directly with them or with legal assistants or paralegals most of the time? Do they have access to experts, investigators, and other resources to build your case? 

Building a strong case requires plenty of resources, so make sure your attorney has those available. If they have so many cases that they can’t provide adequate attention to yours, you may want to choose an attorney that has fewer cases or more resources to devote to you.

Communication Skills Are Important 

You can judge the communication skills of a potential attorney during your phone or in-person meeting. Pay attention to how they communicate with you, how they answer your questions, and how confident they are.

You should also pay attention to their honesty and if they are truthful with you. You want someone who will be realistic about the chances you have of successfully winning your case and not just tell you what you want to hear. 

Good communication skills are necessary to communicate with clients but also with the insurance company and courts if the case ends up going to trial. 

Go With Your Gut 

A wrongful death attorney may look great on paper, have growing reviews, and come highly recommended, but if you don’t feel comfortable with them or don’t feel like they are the best lawyer for your case, choose someone else. 

Ultimately, you want to go with your gut and hire the attorney you are most comfortable with and will best represent your interests. 

Hire Wrongful Death Lawyers Who Will Work For You 

If you are in a situation where you need to hire wrongful death lawyers, you want to find someone that can help alleviate your stress, not contribute to it. An experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that you get fair compensation and that someone is held responsible for the death of your loved one. 

Contact us at Sweet Lawyers for your free case consultation. Our attorneys specialize in personal injury and wrongful death cases. 

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