Do I need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
Wrongful death attorneys are legal professionals who file claims on behalf of those who have lost their lives because of someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior.
If a family member or loved one suffers a death because of an accident that was precipitated or directly affected by a negligent action, you must consult with a wrongful death attorney. These legal professionals expedite the filing of suits to secure compensation for the liable party’s negligent actions. Wrongful death attorneys are crucial resources because all claims are attached with a statute of limitations and various implications.
Wrongful death suits are initiated by executors (personal representatives) of the deceased individual’s estate. However, any legal actions to compensate for expenses incurred prior to the death are typically tried in a separate civil suit.
All states in the U.S. draft their own wrongful death statutes. While the bulk of these statutes are uniform with regard to principles, each jurisdiction enforces unique provisions. Wrongful death statutes do not exist at the federal level.
Before you affirm your need for a wrongful death attorney, you must understand what situations necessitate the inclusion of legal representation. The following situations will warrant the filing of a wrongful death suit and will thus mandate the hiring of a wrongful death attorney:
• Acts of medical malpractice that result in death
• Motor vehicle accidents perpetuated by another party’s negligence or reckless behavior
• Neglect or abuse on the part of a nursing facility that results in the death of a patient
• Death during any supervised activity (field trips, public swimming pools, sporting events etc.)
Wrongful death attorneys initiate suits against parties who instigate or cause death because of reckless or negligent actions. These suits must adhere to specific statutes; wrongful death cases are never tried or heard in criminal law systems.
In a wrongful death suit, the filing or prosecuting party seeks monetary compensation from the defending or liable party. Monetary compensation attempts to reimburse the filing party for medical costs, opportunity costs (lost wages and time) and various psychological costs.
Wrongful death suits allow close relatives or spouses—of the individual who died from a negligent or wrongful action—to recover for lost emotional and financial support. Wrongful death suits may be filed due to a negligent action, such as careless driving, or deliberate actions, such as an intentional murder.
Wrongful death suits attempt to place blame on the defending party; these suits attempt to determine fault through a detailed investigation revolving around the actions which precipitated the death. Ultimately, the suits attempt to allege that the individual died as a result of negligent or reckless behavior on the part of the defendant.
The filing party (known as distributes in a wrongful death claim) are entitled to funding to compensate for the death and the defendant’s conduct. Typical distributes—parties who commonly file wrongful death claims– include the decedent’s children, parents or spouse.
Wrongful death attorneys frequently utilize their experience with personal injury law. Similar to personal claims, a wrongful death suit seeks pecuniary compensation for emotional stress, opportunity costs and lost wages placed on the family members of the decedent. The court system defines pecuniary injuries as any that initiates a loss of service, the prospect of inheritance, expenses associated with funerals or loss of support.
Finding Effective Wrongful Death Attorneys?
Because of the importance of the suit itself, finding the right wrongful death attorney is imperative. The process of hiring effective representation is somewhat tedious; however, if you locate an experienced wrongful death attorney, your efforts will pay-off.
Follow these steps to find an effective Wrongful Death Attorney:
• You must review your case, before beginning your case. Understand the intricacies associated with liability issues present. Once you grasp the variables and particulars that frame your case, search the Internet for Wrongful Death Attorneys in your area. Use GOOGLE and other popular search engines to locate these legal professionals. After you have secured a list of appropriate representation in your area, you must perform appropriate due diligence to gather more information on the respective individual.
• Access your state’s local attorney referral service and your state’s Bar Association to ensure that each individual is licensed and in good standing with your state.
• Utilize peer review services and Internet forums to review the wrongful death attorney’s effectiveness. These forums are peer-based and rendered by clients to provide first-hand accounts regarding the lawyer’s effectiveness.
• After securing this information, observe the respective wrongful death attorney’s biographical information, including their educational background and experience.
Evaluating a Wrongful Death Attorney’s Experience and Personality:
After narrowing your list of prospective wrongful death attorneys to a select few, you must contact each to schedule consultations with each individual. Because the bulk of wrongful death attorneys operate under a contingency-fee schedule, a consultation will often be provided free of charge. (Wrongful death attorneys typically refrain from taking cases that have a low probability of winning.)
A consultation enables you to develop a rapport with the respective wrongful death attorney. Moreover, the consultations enable the wrongful death attorney to gauge the probability of winning your claim. When meeting with prospective wrongful death attorneys, be sure to observe the following:
• Does the wrongful death attorney listen well?
• Does the wrongful death attorney understand the particulars surrounding your case?
•Is he knowledgeable with this area of personal injury law?
• Does the wrongful death attorney’s expertise and experience instill confidence in you?
• Does the wrongful death attorney seem sympathetic to your situation?
•Is the individual a hard-worker and does he/she makes himself available to you?
The above questions are critical, but the essential attribute when evaluating a wrongful death attorney’s usefulness is his/her experience. This key variable (in addition to their contingency fee percentage) sheds light on the individual’s ability to construct a sound claim.