Are you thinking of pursuing a wrongful death claim? If so, you’ll need a competent, experienced, knowledgeable attorney on your side.
The attorney you choose to support your claim can significantly impact your chances of securing compensation to cover funeral expenses, medical bills, and non-economic losses. But if you don’t have much experience with legal claims, you may not know where to begin your search for the right attorney.
Learn how to choose the right wrongful death attorney for your case.
Ask for Personal Recommendations
Wrongful death claims are not very common, and you may not know anyone else who has pursued this legal case before. But if you do, you can start your search by asking for personal recommendations.
Speaking with someone who has worked with a certain attorney in the past can help you gauge the attorney’s communications style and professionalism. Often, knowing that a friend or neighbor has had success with a wrongful death attorney can instill enough confidence for you to hire that person.
Look for Specific Experience with Your Type of Case
Wrongful death lawyers typically have experience with wrongful death cases in general, but these claims can span a wide range of categories, such as:
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home negligence
- Car accidents
- Product malfunctions
- Slip and fall accidents
You’ll want to narrow your search to wrongful death attorneys who have specific experience with your type of case. A car accident is much different from a medical malpractice case, and you need to make sure your attorney will understand the intricacies of your specific case.
Many attorneys list their practice areas on their websites, but these don’t always represent the clients an attorney has actually represented in the past. You may want to read reviews or call and ask an attorney directly about whether they have experience with your case type.
Consider Your Preferred Communication Style
Wrongful death claims can take many months to finalize, which means you’ll spend many months consulting with your attorney, discussing evidence, and communicating about your case. Choosing an attorney who matches your preferred communication style can help you better express your needs and wishes and avoid misunderstandings.
Consider these questions as you think about your preferred communication style:
- How often do you want your attorney to be in contact with you (Daily, weekly, biweekly, etc.)?
- Do you always want to speak with your attorney directly, or would speaking with a paralegal or assistant from the law firm sometimes suffice?
- Do you want your attorney to call you, email you, or text you with questions and information?
- Do you prefer short conversations or in-depth discussions?
- Do you want to be able to talk to your attorney in person at their office, or are you okay with mostly remote conversations?
You can assess an attorney’s communication style during your consultation.
Think About Your Preferred Level of Involvement in the Case
Working through a loved one’s unexpected death can be extremely challenging, and if you’re like many plaintiffs in wrongful death cases, you don’t have much mental capacity to handle a complicated trial or settlement process. Knowing how to choose the right wrongful death attorney involves understanding the level of control you want over your case and finding a lawyer who can fulfill that wish.
When you meet with an attorney for a consultation, discuss how involved you would like to be in the case. If you want your lawyer to take care of 99% of the details, let them know this. They will discuss their process and inform you of any steps you’ll need to take on your own.
Many attorneys will automatically take the full burden of your case off your shoulders, but you’ll occasionally encounter some who will require you to speak with the insurance company, file the court documents, and gather evidence. If you don’t want to do these things, tell your attorney upfront.
Ask About Costs and Fees
Asking about an attorney’s fees isn’t taboo; it’s an important aspect of fully understanding a lawyer’s services. You should feel confident asking about costs and fees at any point during your initial interactions with an attorney, be it during a phone call or a face-to-face consultation.
Some attorneys don’t take on wrongful death lawsuits they don’t think they can win, and this level of confidence allows them to only charge clients when they win their cases. They may charge a percentage of your compensation, for example.
Other attorneys have hourly charges or flat rates. Make sure you understand an attorney’s costs and fees before hiring them; otherwise, you may face a surprise bill that cuts into your settlement.
Schedule Consultations with a Few Attorneys
Many wrongful death attorneys offer free consultations. You can take advantage of these meetings to become familiar with an attorney and complete one final assessment before hiring them.
You may want to schedule consultations with two or three attorneys to find the right fit for your needs. Arrive at your consultation with a list of questions to ask, such as:
- Have you handled this type of wrongful death case before?
- How many clients are you currently representing?
- What will I owe you at the end of the case?
- How many wrongful death cases have you won in the past?
With these answers in mind, you’ll have all the information you need to confidently hire a wrongful death attorney and begin seeking compensation.
Are You Looking for a Wrongful Death Attorney in Orange County?
Finding an attorney who is a good fit for your case can make a huge difference in your legal processes and compensation award. If you’re wondering how to choose the right wrongful death attorney in Orange County, CA, schedule a consultation with Khalil Law Group to discuss your wants, needs, and goals for your case.
The attorneys at Khalil Law Group have extensive experience across many wrongful death cases and can take the stress of this process off your shoulders. Call 714-617-7870 to set up your free consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Newport Beach, CA.