Prior to hiring a wrongful death lawyer to represent you, you should ask them any questions that will provide you with necessary information related to your claim. Some questions to ask a lawyer before hiring them are:
- What fee do you charge for your services?
- What amount of compensation will you seek?
- How will you assist me throughout the wrongful death claim process?
- How will you defend my rights?
- Will you represent me in court if we cannot obtain optimal compensation through negotiations?
These are just a few questions you may want to consider. As you determine which law firm to hire, you should also ask about the damages you are able to recover, and whether or not you should expect to pay taxes on any of the settlement that you receive.
How to Select a Wrongful Death Lawyer
You may want to ask potential wrongful death attorneys several questions before you hire them. Along with the questions listed above, you may also ask lawyers about their experience, their track record in wrongful death cases, and how they will seek justice for you.
There are other ways for you to vet any lawyer you are considering for your case. Some of those methods include:
- Conversations with anyone who has been a client of the lawyer before
- Online research into the lawyer’s past performance, including cases that they have won for past clients
- Online reviews about how the lawyer treats their clients
Completing a free initial consultation can provide you with valuable information that will help you choose the best wrongful death attorney and team for you. During this consultation, you will be able to ask any questions you have. That team member will also complete an initial review of your case and inform you of whether a lawyer can handle your wrongful death claim.
If you do not like their answers or believe that they are not a good fit for you, then you can elect to pursue a different law firm without any financial damage.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
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A Lawyer May Have More in Certain Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful deaths can happen in a variety of ways. A wrongful death lawyer may have ample experience handling certain types of wrongful death cases, but they may be less familiar with other causes of wrongful deaths.
You should ask a wrongful death lawyer what types of wrongful death cases they usually handle. Some specific areas of wrongful death cases may include:
- Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents
- Negligent security accidents
- Car, SUV, and truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Animal attacks
- Nursing home mistreatment
- Defective products
These are just some of the many possible causes of wrongful death. When you speak with personal injury lawyers, ensure that they have handled cases similar to yours. If they have not, then you may benefit from seeking the assistance of a different law firm.
Your Lawyer Will Assign Liability for Your Loved One’s Death
The Legal Information Institute (LII) notes that in wrongful death cases, someone’s negligent action is generally responsible for your loss. Multiple parties could be liable for your loved one’s wrongful death. Your lawyer will work to determine who those responsible parties are.
Your lawyer will need to be familiar with the details of your loved one’s passing in order to determine who is responsible for your loss. Different cases may lead your injury lawyer to different possible defendants, which may include:
- A property owner
- A motorist
- A medical professional
- An animal owner
- A local government
- A product manufacturer
Your lawyer will explain to you who they intend to sue or target with an insurance claim. If you are unsure why they are choosing who they are, ask them. Your lawyer’s experience may lead them to a different liable party than you were expecting. Make sure you have all the information you need to stay informed throughout the entire process.
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Wrongful Death Lawyers Generally Seek a Financial Settlement
Whether they are bringing an action for wrongful death or personal injury, lawyers generally seek a financial settlement for their clients. The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that, more often than not, both parties to a lawsuit resolve the matter through a financial settlement.
A personal injury lawyer will need to take several steps before they begin to negotiate a settlement for you, however. Their process may include:
- Gathering evidence from your loved one’s passing
- Speaking with experts in relevant fields
- Collecting witness testimony
- Calculating how much compensation you deserve
When they are prepared, your lawyer will negotiate to seek a fair settlement in your wrongful death lawsuit. If some form of insurance coverage offers compensation for the losses caused by your loved one’s passing, then your lawyer can handle negotiations with one or more insurance companies.
Your Losses Will Be the Focal Point of Negotiations
Losing a loved one can be devastating, and your losses may be great. Some of the losses that your lawyer could seek compensation for are:
- The cost of your loved one’s funeral and any related expenses
- The cost of medical care related to your loved one’s fatal injuries
- The pain and suffering that you and your loved ones have experienced
- The loss of financial security that the deceased provided any of your family members
- The loss of companionship for the spouse of the deceased
- The loss of parental comfort and guidance for any surviving children
Your lawyer will review any and all losses associated with your loved one’s death—don’t try to take on this case by yourself and lose out on valuable compensation.
You May Be Entitled to Punitive Damages
If your loved one’s death was the result of egregious negligence on behalf of the at-fault party, then you may receive punitive damages in addition to your compensatory ones. If you recover punitive damages as part of your settlement, you may have to pay taxes on them. This is not the case for other compensatory damages.
Speak with your lawyer about whether any of your settlement is taxable to ensure you are not surprised come tax season.
Call Us Today for Help With a Wrongful Death Case
If you lost a loved one, and you are wondering how to file a wrongful death claim, our team is ready to help you. We can answer all questions you have and ensure that you are informed throughout the entire legal process. When you are ready to have your questions answered, contact our wrongful death attorneys.