Every minute, around 106 people die. And while we would like to believe they have lived long and happy lives, we also know that is not always the case. Sometimes, a death is due to someone else’s negligent actions.
In these circumstances, it might be possible to file a wrongful death claim. While no amount of money will bring your loved one back, it can help hold those responsible accountable and ease some of the financial burden.
Attorneys handling wrongful death claims can help walk you through these cases. They bring the knowledge and compassion you need to the table. However, first, you need to pick the right wrongful death attorney.
How? Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim arises when a person dies due to the misconduct or negligence of another party. This can include situations such as:
- Car accidents caused by drunk driving
- Other neglignet acts resulting in fatal injuries
- Accidents caused by the unsafe condition of property
- Intentional acts of violence
Essentially, if someone’s actions or failure to act leads directly to the death of another person, it may give rise to a wrongful death claim.
Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim. Typically, immediate family members like spouses and children have standing to bring such claims. However, this can vary depending on state laws.
It is important to consult an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death cases who can guide you through the legal process and determine your eligibility.
Building a Strong Wrongful Death Case
When pursuing a wrongful death claim, building a strong case is crucial to ensure fair compensation. Understanding the factors involved before deciding on a wrongful death lawyer is important.
This will help guide your questions when looking for the right lawyer. Here are some key factors to consider.
Gathering evidence includes obtaining medical records, funeral expenses, witness testimonies, accident reports, and other relevant documentation supporting your claim. A skilled attorney can assist you by conducting a thorough investigation and collecting vital information.
It is vital to establish negligence or fault on the part of the responsible party. This requires proving that the actions or omissions directly caused the death of your loved one.
Calculating damages accurately is essential in securing fair compensation for the loss suffered. Damages could include financial losses such as funeral expenses, lost income potential, and non-economic damages like loss of companionship.
Presenting your case persuasively in court can significantly impact its outcome. An experienced attorney will know how to effectively argue on your behalf while countering any opposing arguments the defense team presents.
What to Look for in Attorneys for a Wrongful Death Claim
When it comes to hiring attorneys for a wrongful death claim, it is crucial to choose the right person. Your case outcome depends heavily on your lawyer’s skills and expertise.
So, what should you look for in an attorney? Here are some essential factors to consider.
Look for attorneys who specialize in wrongful death claims specifically. They should have a proven track record of success in handling similar cases. A seasoned attorney will be well-versed in the complexities of wrongful death laws and can navigate the legal process effectively.
Reputation and Reviews
Online platforms like Google can provide valuable insights into an attorney’s professionalism, communication skills, and overall client satisfaction. Reading testimonials can help gauge whether they have a positive rapport with their clients.
Ensure that the attorney has ample resources to handle your case efficiently. Wrongful death lawsuits often involve extensive investigations and expert testimony, so having access to necessary resources is vital for building a strong case.
Effective communication is crucial when working with an attorney on such sensitive matters. Look for someone who listens attentively to your concerns, responds promptly with clear explanations about legal strategies, and proptly updates you on your case progress.
Trust Your Gut
Trust your instincts during any consultations with your potential attorney. Pay attention to how comfortable you feel discussing personal details about your loved one’s passing with the attorney – trust is essential throughout this process.
Questions to Ask a Wrongful Death Lawyer
When hiring an attorney for a wrongful death lawsuit, asking the right questions is crucial. Finding a lawyer with experience handling these types of cases and someone you feel comfortable working with is essential. Here are some key questions to ask during your initial consultation:
How Many Wrongful Death Cases Have You Handled?
Knowing how much experience a lawyer has in handling wrongful death cases is important. This will give you an idea of their expertise and success in this specific area of law.
What Is Your Fee Structure?
Inquire about the lawyer’s fee structure, including whether the attorney works on a contingency basis (where the lawyer only gets paid if you obtain compensation) or if the attorney charges hourly fees. Make sure you understand all the costs involved before hiring the attorney.
Do You Have Experience with Cases Similar to Mine?
Each wrongful death case is unique, so it is crucial to find a lawyer who has experience dealing with cases similar to yours. This will ensure that the lawyer has a good understanding of the legal issues involved and can provide effective representation.
How Will You Communicate with Me During the Case?
Communication is critical when working with a lawyer, so make sure you understand how the lawyer will keep you updated on your case. Will the attorney communicate via email, phone calls, or in-person meetings? How often can you expect to hear from the lawyer?
What Approach Do You Plan on Taking With My Case?
Ask the lawyer about his or her approach to handling your case. Will the lawyer try to negotiate a settlement out of court, and is the lawyer prepared to go to trial if necessary? Make sure the attorney’s strategy aligns with your goals for the case.
Who Will Be Handling My Case?
In some law firms, cases are handled by a team of lawyers and/or paralegals. Ensure you know who will handle your case and ask about their experience and qualifications.
What Is Your Assessment of My Case?
Finally, ask the lawyer for an assessment of your case. The attorney should be able to identify potential challenges and strengths in your case and give you an honest evaluation of same. This will help you determine whether or not you want to move forward with the attorney.
Qualities to Look for in a Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death cases can be complex and emotionally challenging, requiring a lawyer who is not only knowledgeable but also compassionate and dedicated. So, what qualities should you look for in a wrongful death attorney?
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is incredibly painful, and having an attorney who understands your emotions can make all the difference. A compassionate attorney will take the time to listen to your concerns, offer support, and prioritize your needs throughout the entire legal process.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is vital in handling wrongful death claims since even minor errors or oversights could significantly impact the outcome of your case. This ensures all necessary documents are correctly filed, deadlines are met, evidence is thoroughly reviewed, and no crucial details are overlooked.
When hiring an attorney for sensitive matters such as wrongful death lawsuits, integrity is non-negotiable. You need someone who operates ethically and always puts the client’s best interests first.
An approachable attorney is someone you can easily communicate with and feel comfortable sharing personal details with. The attorney should be willing to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide regular updates on the progress of your case. This helps build trust and rapport, making it easier to work together towards a successful outcome.
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Virginia Beach
Finding the right attorneys for a wrongful death case is crucial to ensure fair compensation for your loved one’s untimely passing. By understanding what is involved in the case and what to look for, you will be better equipped to make the right decision.
The attorneys of Preston, Wilson, & Crandley, PLC have served the Virginia Beach area since 1955. We will ensure your case gets the attention to detail it deserves. Contact us today to discuss your needs.