Basic Layman Definition of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is a serious and devastating form of personal injury that occurs when an individual dies due to the negligent or intentional act of another.
Wrongful death claims are often brought by family members who have lost a loved one as a result of another’s negligence or intentional harm.
Common causes of wrongful death include medical malpractice, vehicular accidents, construction accidents, defective products, exposure to hazardous materials, and criminal acts.
Wrongful Death as a Legal Remedy; Types of Claims Handled by Wrongful Death Lawyers
The surviving family members of someone wrongfully killed can bring a civil claim through the help of a wrongful death lawyer against the responsible party in order to recover money for damages such as medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of wages, loss of companionship and pain and suffering.
This type of legal remedy allows grieving families to seek justice on their deceased loved one’s behalf while also helping them financially during this difficult time.
In many cases, punitive damages may also be awarded in order to punish the wrong-doer and deter similar behavior from happening in the future.
Wrongful death lawyers can help ensure that these costs are included when filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. They will typically conduct an investigation into all aspects of the incident in order to determine if filing a claim is warranted in the first place and then work hard to collect evidence needed to prove the other party’s fault in court.
How to Find the Right Wrongful Death Lawyer for You
Finding the right wrongful death lawyer for you can be a daunting task, and it’s important to take your time in order to choose the best attorney for your situation.
Start by doing research online or talking with other people who have used wrongful death lawyers in the past. Take some time to read client reviews and make sure that the lawyer has extensive experience handling wrongful death cases.
Once you have identified a few potential attorneys, ask them questions about their experience in wrongful death law, such as how many cases they have worked on and what their success rate is.
- In addition, “inquire about their fees and whether they are willing to work on contingency basis – meaning they won’t require payment unless they win your case.
You should also consider whether the attorney is licensed to practice in that state and if so, check out his credentials through local bar associations or online databases to find out more about his professional background.
Furthermore, when interviewing prospective lawyers make sure you ask them specific questions related to the strengths of their case strategy, any recent successes they have had in court, what kind of resources they have available (such as investigators or expert witness testimony) and how long it usually takes them resolve wrongful death cases.
- Finally, ensure that the lawyer is someone “with whom you feel comfortable discussing delicate matters related to your case –– understanding that wrongful death cases can be highly emotional’and who will represent your interests in court with passion and professionalism.
Initial Consultation with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
An initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer can be both emotionally and logistically challenging. However, it is essential in providing the necessary framework for an effective case. These meetings are generally conducted in person and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on the complexity of the case.
During this time, you will have a chance to explain your side of the story and ask any questions you may have.
Your wrongful death lawyer will also provide you with an overview of the legal process, discuss possible legal strategies and outline what types of damages could potentially be recovered.
Also, your attorney may review relevant documents such as police reports or medical records to help build a stronger case.
It’s important to remember that these consultations are confidential and anything discussed cannot be used against either party in a court of law.
The Cost of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer and Other Associated Fees
Hiring a wrongful death lawyer can be costly, but is often necessary to pursue justice.
The costs associated with hiring a wrongful death lawyer can vary greatly, depending on factors such as experience, the size of your case, and how much time and effort the case requires.
Generally speaking, lawyers will charge either an hourly fee or a flat fee for their services. An hourly fee may range from $100 – 250 for a junior attorney up to $400 – 500 per hour for senior attorneys with more experience.
A flat fee is usually charged when there is a defined scope of work to be done and the lawyer is confident in their ability to complete it within a certain amount of time.
In addition to attorney fees, there are other associated costs such as court filing fees and court reporter fees that may factor into the total cost of pursuing legal action. Some cases require expert witnesses or specialized evidence which can add additional costs to the overall cost of pursuing justice through wrongful death law.
In order to determine the full cost of hiring a wrongful death lawyer, it is important to seek out free consultations with various lawyers so you can understand all potential costs involved in your particular case and make an informed decision about whom you want to represent you in this pursuit.
As previously stated, there are wrongful death lawyers that work on contingency fees, meaning clients don’t pay upfront costs for representation- instead, they pay out their attorney’s fees from any settlement money that is ultimately recovered. So this is an option that you may consider in hiring an attorney.
Statutes of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Different States
Depending on which state the death occurred, there are varying statutes of limitations for filing such a claim. These statutes represent the amount of time that a family has to make their case in court and can vary from state-to-state.
Generally, it would depend on when it was discovered that wrongful death had occurred and when it was reasonable to expect that something could have been done about it.
The amount of time allowed by each state’s statute of limitations can also differ depending on how the wrongful death occurred (i.e., medical malpractice versus vehicular accident).
Some states even allow for “tolling,” which essentially stops the clock from running on certain types of suits until either all parties have reached legal age or any disability that may affect someone’s ability to file has been removed.
Therefore, a wrongful death lawyer should be able to understand the state laws regarding filing deadlines as those statutes provide structure around when such cases need to be brought forward.
Understanding the complexities of filing a wrongful death lawsuit and all associated costs involved in hiring a lawyer is crucial.
Seeking legal counsel immediately following the incident will be important – so that all necessary steps can be taken.
Your wrongful death lawyer should be able to know the intricacies of navigating a wrongful death claim, as well as understand the applicable state laws regarding deadlines for filing such claims.