Follow these tips to find the best wrongful death lawyer for your lawsuit
Most people think that pursuing a lawsuit after losing a loved one will be the last thing on their minds. However, if someone loses their life due to the dangerous actions of others, that death is referred to as “wrongful death.” For this reason, family members should be compensated for expenses caused by their loved one’s untimely loss.
A wrongful death lawsuit addresses the financial losses related to that loss, including unpaid medical invoices, burial and funeral expenses. This is in addition to continuing the support necessary to maintain the surviving spouse or dependent family members.
Here are some tips to follow when trying to find the best wrongful death lawyer in your area.
Why hire a wrongful death attorney?
While there is a myriad of professionals you can contact, working with a wrongful death lawyer is the most effective way to pursue your claim. These situations can range from vehicle accidents to physical injury accidents away from home, in the workplace or in a public place. Wrongful death lawyers can also use their legal acumen to prosecute medical negligence and malpractice.
Compounding the grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one, it is imperative to make sure you find the right lawyer to take your case. The attorney you hire needs to show both sympathy and compassion, as well as never back down under pressure. The ability to communicate freely with clients is important as well, as lawsuits often take time to thread their way through the legal system.
It’s no wonder that finding the right lawyer can seem overwhelming. This is why taking the right steps before settling on legal representation is the best route to avoid misunderstandings later on. Working with legal representation you find approachable and knowledgeable pays off in the end.
How do I find the best wrongful death attorney near me?
First, you’ll want to ask family, friends, neighbors and coworkers if they know of any lawyers or law firms they would recommend. In particular, it helps if they retained an attorney for a wrongful death case. Their experience may serve as the basis for working with them or staying away from that legal practice.
You can also contact the State Bar of Georgia. This organization has a listing of all registered attorneys within the state, as well as any consumer complaints brought against them. If an attorney has been disciplined by the state for practicing in an unlawful manner, they can disclose this to you as well. Your state bar association can be contacted via phone or by utilizing their website.
Whether you decide to speak with an attorney based on a personal recommendation or the word of the bar association, it’s best to study their website. From their web pages, you’ll have a chance to learn about the types of law they practice and legal associates who assist them as they work with clients. Contact information, online resources and the location of their law offices are a great place to begin.
Make a point of learning about your prospective attorney by reading their biographical information. This includes where they went to undergraduate college, law school and any prior law firms where they have practiced. A lawyer’s online biography will also include whether they currently teach (or have taught) at a law school or if they are able to practice law in more than one state.
Schedule a consultation to discuss your situation
Most attorneys offer a no-cost consultation before working with a potential client and taking on a new case. While it is possible to discuss matters over the phone, always try to meet in person whenever possible. This gives you a chance to discuss personal (and often painful) matters in their presence. If you don’t feel comfortable with an attorney for any reason during the consultation, this is definitely a sign that you need to shop around to find the right one.
During your consultation, an attorney will ask you about your individual situation and request information about the deceased. Having this information readily available during your session is an effective way to learn how your case will be handled. If there are other attorneys, investigators or paralegals who will work on your case, ask to meet them as well.
What should I ask a prospective attorney?
Consider asking the prospective wrongful death attorney the following questions during your consultation:
- Why do you take wrongful death cases?
- Have you worked on and won similar cases to mine?
- Do you favor trying my case before a judge and jury?
- Would mediation and settlement bring a faster resolve?
- Will you be working directly on my case or be supervising junior attorneys?
- How much will your services cost?
One of the most important aspects of any legal case is how an attorney or law firm expects to be paid. Financial matters should be freely discussed at your initial meeting, as you are seeking funds in a wrongful death case that you may not have to begin with.
An attorney needs to let a prospective client know if their law firm will take their case on a “contingency basis” or require money upfront. They should also be willing to put this information in writing so there are no misunderstandings further down the road.