According to the CDC, there were 169,936 unintentional injury deaths in 2016. This makes wrongful deaths the third most common cause of death for that year.
Losing a loved one or friend is difficult enough. Taking a case to trial without an experienced wrongful death attorney will only make the process more complicated. Knowing how to choose the right lawyer for your wrongful death suit, on the other hand, can make all the difference.
Here are 10 tips that can help as you’re choosing a wrongful death lawyer.
With these tips, you can find a professional, experienced lawyer who can help win your suit. Don’t go it alone. Instead, use this guide to find a wrongful death attorney who has your best interests in mind.
Wrongful deaths appear in many different forms. When searching for a wrongful death attorney, it’s important to check their experience with cases similar to yours.
For example, the trend of fatal police shootings is increasing in the United States. In 2018, a total of 996 civilians were shot. If your case involves a fatal police shooting, you’ll want to choose a wrongful death lawyer who was involved in a similar previous case.
First, look for a wrongful death attorney who specializes in these cases.
Ask how long they’ve worked as a licensed attorney as well. Then, ask how long they’ve specialized in wrongful death cases. Since your case is specific, you’ll want to find an attorney who has specific case experience.
You’ll want an attorney who is up-to-date with the latest laws and procedures regarding a wrongful death suit.
Choosing a lawyer with this specialized experience will offer your peace of mind. As a result, you’ll feel reassured you have the best possible attorney on your case.
Otherwise, you might end up working with a lawyer who can’t provide the help you need.
After determining the lawyer’s experience, review their track record. How many wrongful death suits have they won over the years? Make sure to consider how many cases they’ve settled out of court, too.
When trying to choose a wrongful death attorney, you’ll want to select someone who can win your case. Their track record will tell you if they have experience and expertise. Even if they have plenty of experience as a wrongful death lawyer, you want to make sure they’re a winner, too.
Make note if the attorney has settled a lot of cases. For some lawyers, more frequent settlements can mean they only want to close the case.
During this process, ask about their recent cases.
How did it go? How much was the payout? Understanding more about their wins and losses can help you develop a clear picture of the lawyer’s capabilities.
Next, check the wrongful death attorney’s bar association standing.
As you start narrowing down lawyers, head to your local bar association’s website. Make sure the lawyer you’re considering appears as a member. You can also check other law associations during this step, too.
If you can’t find the wrongful death lawyer listed anywhere, consider hiring someone else.
See if the lawyer has any leadership roles as well. If they do, it’s likely the lawyer has earned the respect of other attorneys in your area.
We usually trust the opinions of friends, family members, and even strangers online. See if your loved ones have sued for wrongful death and worked with an experienced attorney in the past.
If not, ask the wrongful death attorney you’re considering if they can provide any references.
It’s most likely the attorney will have you speak to a happy client. With this in mind, check online as well. That way, you can find an unbiased answer.
Don’t forget to check the Better Business Bureau if you’re researching a law firm while you’re at it.
Next, you’ll need to consider the attorney’s fees. Before you hire them, ask how much the wrongful death suit will cost you.
Ask the attorney if they’ll work on a contingency fee basis as well. If they do, they’ll only get a percentage of what you receive through the settlement.
During your research, ask the lawyer if they have a network of qualified experts they work with. Having access to these experts can benefit your case.
Experts can also help prepare your case for negotiations.
If the attorney doesn’t have a network they work with, ask how they intend on winning your case.
Determine the lawyer’s level of courtroom experience. Some cases don’t go to trial. Despite this, you’ll still want an attorney who made it to trial and verdict.
That way, you won’t have to worry if your case does go to trial. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind you’re choosing an experienced attorney with the proper experience.
Otherwise, you might end up with a lawyer who is apprehensive about going to court.
See if the wrongful death lawyer is a member of any legal organizations. There are national and state organizations for lawyers who specialize in wrongful deaths. Finding a lawyer who is involved in one of these groups might benefit your case.
If you’re researching a law firm, ask them who will work your case moving forward.
Determine who your point of contact is. If they’re a less experienced associate, ask if someone will supervise them.
Make sure you understand who is working your case so you know what to expect.
Finally, feel free to trust your gut.
Look over your notes. You’ll want to choose a wrongful death attorney who is an active listener and willing to advocate for you. You’ll also want someone who is honest and forthcoming.
Choose the right wrongful death attorney for your case. With these tips, you can work with a lawyer who has your best interests in mind. Then, you can win your case and get the compensation you deserve.
Your fight is our fight. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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