Losing a loved one can be very traumatic, especially if the death was avoidable. When a loved one dies due to someone’s negligence, recklessness, and ignorance, you’re allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This allows you to recover monetary and emotional losses you might have undergone.
Therefore, you need to consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer to give proper guidance to the family and represent you. An experienced lawyer also helps you understand the amount of money you’re entitled to receive. A law firm in Dallas gives the best advice on the steps to follow prior to filing for a wrongful death claim.
What to Do Before Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
It’s always a good idea to speak with a wrongful death attorney before filing a claim to guide you on the steps to follow. Here are the steps involved prior to filing a wrongful death claim:
1. Ask for Recommendations
Wrongful death claims are generally very lengthy and complex. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer to help you out with your case. Ask your relatives, friends, or colleagues if they have an idea of where you could find a great wrongful death attorney. Make sure you let them know what type of wrongful death case you have.
2. Make Use of State Bar Resources
Try using your state bar’s website to get a good referral if you couldn’t get a good recommendation. Every state bar offers a lawyer referral service or has a list of licensed lawyers with different specialties.
You can also talk to a referral agent who will set you up with an experienced lawyer. You should let the agent know about your case and the kind of attorney you want. They will then give you a list of qualified attorneys who you can contact.
3. Look for Specialists
You should look for an attorney who specializes in the type of case you have. For example, you wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer specializing in car accident deaths when you have a medical malpractice lawsuit. Attorneys tend to specialize in one or more legal practice areas.
4. Interview Your Candidates
You should at least find not less than three lawyers. Once you’ve done that, make a call and then set up appointments with them so that you can carry out an interview. You will have the opportunity to present your suit so that the attorney can assess your case strength and determine if they will help. Once you meet up, you need to ask the following things:
- Where did the attorney get his/her education and experience?
- Has the attorney handled similar cases and what was the outcome?
- Does the attorney have a history of professional discipline?
- Ask the attorney about malpractice insurance and liability.
If any question occurs to you during your discussion with the wrongful death attorney, you need to ask it.
5. Understand the Fees You Need to Pay
First, you need to ask the wrongful death lawyer how much he/she charges. In wrongful death claims, most attorneys work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means the lawyer will only take part of the money you’re compensated when your case is successful.
An attorney will often take a third of the court’s money as part of a contingency fee agreement. However, the complexity of your case determines the amount you pay the attorney, and it can be higher in the following situations:
- The attorney works for an hourly fee or flat fee.
- The attorney may require you to pay for the expert-witness fees, filing fees, and medical examination fees.
Make a Wrongful Death Right
Before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, make sure to follow these simple steps. This will ensure you’re working with an attorney who genuinely cares about your case. It would be best to have an attorney who can argue for the maximum compensation you can receive and get the jury to view your case in the most commiserating manner possible.