Wrongful death is more common than you think in the United States. Despite having one of the best healthcare systems globally, there are an estimated 251,000 deaths yearly due to medical errors.
While there isn’t anything you can do in hindsight if this happens to you, there are options if you know someone who suffered from a wrongful death. You’ll need to hire legal help to get the compensation you deserve.
If you’re going to pick a wrongful death attorney that gets results, you need to understand what makes a good lawyer. Follow the guide below to find the perfect attorney for your wrongful death case.
Verify Wrongful Death Experience
There are countless types of lawyers in the world. Some are general lawyers and can help with basic issues. But when dealing with something as serious as wrongful death, you can’t afford to not work with a specialist.
Another lawyer won’t have the unique insights a wrongful death attorney will have in these types of cases. They may miss key details on wrongful death claims that are a must-know for your unique circumstances.
It pays to verify the case experience of an attorney before hiring them. Ask your options how many wrongful death cases they have handled before and what their success rate is like.
Working with an attorney with a history of success will maximize your chance of winning your case.
Speak to Multiple Attorneys
It’s important not to settle with one attorney when dealing with a wrongful death case. In many instances, your case will take some time to handle. The person you hire needs to be pleasant and not stressful to work with.
Unfortunately, not all lawyers are good with people and won’t do much to ease your concerns. You may end up more stressed about the process of working with a lawyer.
You can learn more about the people you work with by interviewing them. Try interviewing at least three attorneys to see if you connect with them.
When you feel like you can speak freely with your representation, you’re less likely to hold things back and can work better together to get a successful claim result.
Find a Lawyer on Contingency
The last thing you want to do is hire an hourly lawyer for a wrongful death case. Hourly and service-based lawyers are fine if you don’t need much work. But if you don’t have much money and believe you’ll have a lengthy case, you may not be able to afford to hire a lawyer hourly.
In cases like these, it makes more sense to work with an attorney on a contingency.
A contingency fee means you won’t need to pay for your attorney’s service unless they win your case. Instead of paying their fee out of pocket, you set aside a portion of your settlement for payment.
See how much these rates are when comparing attorney fees to see what you can expect to pay on your expected settlement.
Find a Trial Lawyer
In the ideal situation, you can settle your wrongful death claim without going to a courtroom. The other party will likely settle to avoid dragging the case out and wasting a lot of cash — but if it seems cheaper to fight the claim, you may end up in court.
This makes finding an attorney willing to go to trial essential. You don’t want to hire someone hesitant to go to the courtroom and recommend a settlement that doesn’t meet your needs.
In some cases, hiring a winning trial attorney can also help you during the settlement process. If your opponent sees that you hired an attorney that wins at trial, they will likely be more willing to avoid court if possible.
Speak With Your Actual Lawyer
If you interview at a large wrongful death law firm, the lawyer you speak with may not represent you in your case. It’s common for more public-facing attorneys to take client interviews and pass cases to law firm associates.
Although it’s fine if this is the process you go through, you need to know about it before you sign with a law firm. You don’t want to hire a firm without learning who will take on your case and speaking with them.
Doing this allows you to learn about your representative and their credentials. Otherwise, you’re taking a law firm at its word that it will have your best interests in mind — which, unfortunately, may not always be true.
If the firm decides to hand your case to an associate with less experience, make sure they have some supervision.
Check Attorney Reviews
The chances are good that you’ll find many options for attorneys when trying to find help. Searching on Google will surface countless options — each of which may appear to do great work.
If you want to narrow your choices, reading online reviews is a great choice. There are many public forums for people to discuss their experiences with attorneys.
Google is a great first place to start this process. When you search for local attorneys there, you’ll get a map listing the lawyers closest to you. Alongside those listings are reviews for attorneys.
Reputable attornies will have plenty of great reviews without red flags. Check as many as possible to familiarize yourself with your options, and contact the ones who stand above the rest.
Pick a Wrongful Death Attorney Carefully
You’re making a big case when you file a wrongful death claim. You have to prove that the other party was negligent and resulted in death — which is hard to do if you don’t have legal experience.
The right attorney can make the difference between winning and losing a wrongful death case. Make sure you pick a wrongful death attorney with enough experience to give you the best chance of winning your case.
Did you find this guide useful and want to learn more about handling other challenging situations? Read more posts on the blog to learn more.