A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action against another party who may be held liable for the death. Any form of tortious injury that causes a person’s death may be grounds for a viable wrongful death action. Attorneys representing the estate of the deceased may pursue claims including pain and suffering, and the loss of the deceased person’s financial and personal support.
When seeking legal advice, there are several factors to consider. Most law firms that have practices with personal injury attorneys and wrongful death attorneys offer this type of counsel on a contingency basis. In these instances, the client pays no fees unless the case is won.
Look for smaller law firms or solo practitioners as you are more likely to get the type of close, personal service that these difficult circumstances call for. Your attorney should be admitted to your state bar and in good standing, carry sufficient insurance, and have extensive experience.
Experience specific to this type of lawsuit and familiarity with the area’s courts and judges is critical as this kind of experience means your attorney knows not only the law as written and procedures, but also how the judges likely to hear your case view the merits of claims.
Bear in mind that, in a wrongful death situation, there are often numerous legal issues that need to be addressed, beyond the personal loss. For example, these events can result in significant changes including employment issues if you need to take extensive time off, financial crises calling for changes to your tax planning considerations, and estate planning issues. Consequently, you may want to look for a small full-service firm or rely on a solo practitioner who can advise you on finding attorneys who specialize in these matters.
Given the amount of personal injury lawyer advertising, it’s wise to look into whether you are looking at a volume-based firm that may not be as personally invested in your individual case. Seek out law firms and lawyers that spend their resources on cases rather than copious advertising. A wrongful death attorney should be looking to seek justice when harm is done.
Your attorney should carefully explain the entire lawsuit process at the outset of your representation and provide realistic expectations regarding the chances of winning the case and range of settlement amounts.