How to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney
The feelings of shock and pain that accompany the sudden death of a loved one can be very overwhelming.
In the middle of trying to grieve and give/receive support, the last thing on your mind is all of the legal paperwork that will need to be taken care of. After some time passes you will need to deal with funeral costs, bank accounts, and insurance information and it would be in your best interest to seek the help of a professional. But who can you turn to?
In the tragic case of a wrongful death, it is imperative to have the most qualified wrongful death attorney by your side. You need to find someone who is experienced and reliable, and that will take more time than one quick search on Google.
Look for professionals who advertise a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and are proud to post their numerous awards.
It’s true that time seems to slow down in the face of a tragedy. Unfortunately, state statutes of limitations will force you to act within a year to file your wrongful death claim to get the compensation, and closure, that you deserve.
Follow the suggestions below to be sure you are hiring the most qualified wrongful death attorney for your specific needs.
Before You Begin Your Search
Don’t open that Internet browser just yet.
Rushing into researching and picking the first attorney you see could be detrimental to your case. Before beginning your search, make sure you’ve verified these 4 things.
1. Your case qualifies for a wrongful death claim
What, exactly, is considered a wrongful death?
There are countless fatal occurrences that can be claimed under the heading “wrongful death”, so it’s important to know if your case applies. Simply put, when your loved one dies due to the fault of another, it is considered a wrongful death.
The most common claims/lawsuits include:
- accidents (car accidents due to reckless/drunk drivers)
- injuries (workplace deaths)
- medical malpractice
- defective products
- defective medication (FDA approved)
If you do not see an instance that fits your case, click here for more detailed options.
2. You are a qualified family member who can make a claim
Who can make a wrongful death claim?
According to the Louisiana State Legislature, there is a list (that must be followed in order, as it appears) of people who can file a claim to “recover damages which they sustained as the result of the death (of a loved one).”
The list looks as you would expect. First, surviving spouses and children may file. If there are none, surviving parents may file. If there are no surviving parents, the list goes on to include siblings, grandparents, and so on.
There are specific guidelines for adoption and child neglect cases as well, so if that applies to you, be sure to look into it.
3. You have intentions for why you are making a claim
Why should I sue?
If you are interested in making a claim and going forth with a lawsuit, it means you are looking to recover damages. Legal libraries often break these damages into two groups; economic, or non-economic.
Economic damages include the coverage of monetary losses such as funeral and burial costs, outstanding medical bills, lost wages/inheritance, or damaged property.
Non-economic damages would include things that you can not provide a receipt for like mental and emotional pain, loss of companionship, and family suffering.
It’s important for you to be able to express why you are making a wrongful death claim so that your wrongful death attorney can understand you and your intentions better.
4. You know what a wrongful death attorney can do for you
Besides helping you recover damages, the right wrongful death attorney can let your mind rest, even if only a little, during this difficult time.
Not only will you have the chance to be compensated financially, but you can focus on your family’s needs while someone qualified looks out for you legally.
If your thoughts toward the 4 points discussed above indicate that you should pursue searching a wrongful death attorney to help you with your case, please read on for more helpful suggestions.
Finding the Best Wrongful Death Attorney
When you’re looking for a new restaurant to try, you might ask friends and family for places they recommend. Chances are, you are not going to pick the first place they say and show up without doing a little research first.
You probably have questions such as, how far away is the restaurant? What are the prices? What type of food do they serve? Are they a highly recommended establishment?
Many of these questions can, surprisingly, be related to finding a wrongful death attorney. It’s important to do some online research before you choose attorneys that you want to schedule meetings with.
Take advantage of having the world at your fingertips. Try using different keywords in your search engine and sort through the results.
This is the time when you can look up and compare recommended wrongful death attorney names given to you by family and friends.
Remember, searching online is just the first step to finding the perfect, trusted attorney. You will still need to talk with them and meet with them to ensure you feel safe and comfortable.
In your time of loss and sadness, consideration for travel time is something that is often overlooked.
It’s wise to stay local when finding the right wrongful death attorney. Not only is it convenient for when you set up meetings, but it also helps if your attorney has an in-depth understanding of the local trial procedures and law specifications.
When you search for attorneys online you will find that they usually specialize in more than one area of legal service.
Babcock Partner’s website gives you a user-friendly way to find information that fits your specific need.
If you are looking for a wrongful death attorney, they have a link for that. If you are looking to be even more specific? Car accidents? Truck accidents? Motorcycle accidents? There are links for those as well.
Finding a company that is user-friendly for its clients is a great way to tell if they are experienced and reputable. It means they have YOU in mind!
Having experience in a field usually goes hand in hand with having a high success rate. When a wrongful death attorney takes the time to talk about themselves on their website, it’s a good sign.
Check out this perfect example. These partners have taken the time to let their future clients know all about them (pictures included)!
They share their credentials, educational backgrounds, and even show off the awards they’ve won.
Pages like theirs can put clients like us at ease and make us feel more personally connected to the attorney we are trusting our legal affairs to. When it comes to a matter as important as seeking compensation for a lost loved one, don’t sell yourself short.
We all know the saying, “Your reputation precedes you”, and in this case, it’s a good thing! Why wouldn’t you want to know how other people feel about someone you are considering hiring?
When you do an online search, look for attorneys who will share their client testimonials with you. If a restaurant has incredible reviews you will be more likely to eat there. If an attorney has many positive reviews, you will be eager to schedule a consultation.
Some important things that people choose not to look into including an attorney’s win/loss record and disciplinary record.
It is not wrong to ask for such records and if the professionals you have decided to hire hesitate to produce them, it may be a bad sign. When speaking with potential candidates be sure not to shy away from uncomfortable subjects. The more you know about their practice, the better!
Interview the Candidates
You’ve done so much hard work narrowing down a potential wrongful death attorney and now it’s time to finally choose your perfect match.
Instead of basing your final decision solely on internet information, it’s time to get a little more personal.
Make Phone Calls
When you’re calling a potential wrongful death attorney, be sure to have all the facts of your loved one’s death on hand. The attorney will have many questions about the case and they more they know, the better your chances of settling are (in court).
As mentioned above, be sure to express exactly what your intentions are to the attorney. Discuss the kinds of damages you are seeking and listen to any advice offered.
Meet for a Consultation
Remember that you are meeting with a professional to discuss legal matters. Dress professionally, bring a pad of paper and a pen, and be prepared for your discussions.
Your time is money, and so is the attorney’s.
Be sure to bring the documentation that was discussed on the phone to the meeting. Review all you know about the wrongful death and provide physical documentation for the attorney to look at.
Everything you share will better prepare for the claim/lawsuit ahead.
Most importantly, be honest. It saves time, money, and effort in the long run if you are honest with your wrongful death attorney from the very beginning.
Choose the Most Qualified
After meeting with your top candidates, you should have chosen the one who best fits your needs and exceeds at all of the categories listed above. Knowing you’ve found the perfect wrongful death attorney to care for you and your family is such a relief.
It’s important to know that going forward, there will be fees associated with the attorney you’ve chosen. All professionals bill their clients differently, so it’s important to know and understand their plan.
Fees and Payment Arrangements
During your consultation, you and your attorney will have discussed the type of billing that they prefer (or what type of payments you are able to make).
The details of your case affect the type of payment arrangement that you will make with your new wrongful death attorney.
Your options might include being charged hourly, monthly, up-front at the beginning of the trial, or even at the conclusion. Find out beforehand so you are not surprised when the payments need to start being made.
Fees include more than just what you’re paying the attorney. Other considerations include:
- Tax information
- What happens if you leave the company before the trial?
- What happens if you win the case?
- What happens if you lose the case?
- What if you can’t pay your fees?
Be prepared to be as flexible as possible when figuring out exactly what your payment arrangement will be.
Through the process of finding the best wrongful death attorney for you and your family, always remember to put yourself first. You are the one who is suffering, grieving, and trying to manage to move on in peace.
Open yourself up to someone who is caring, qualified, and successful. Let them take your legal matter into their hands and do their best work on your behalf.
If you’ve lost a loved one, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you.
Your case will be our top priority. When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.
Contact us today.
Get Even! Call Stephen!