Losing a loved one because of someone else’s mistake is one of the most painful experiences imaginable. For most, there is no way to truly be consoled after such a tragic loss. But there is some hope for justice and a financially stable tomorrow that a wrongful death claim can bring.
How do you choose a wrongful death lawyer, though? The process will not feel the same as picking an attorney for another type of claim or lawsuit. There will be a feeling of grief and injustice so heavy that it can make the situation extremely sensitive and rocky, which will probably cloud your judgment a bit when picking who to represent your case.
At Murray & Murray in Sandusky, Ohio, we hope to make the process of finding a wrongful death attorney a little easier for anyone reading this blog entry. We know you are going through a tumultuous time, so we would like to share a few questions to ask and things to keep in mind along the way.
Questions to Ask a Wrongful Death Attorney
Seven questions you should ask a wrongful death attorney before hiring them are:
- How long have you handled wrongful death cases? There are many attorneys and law firms who have ample experience with civil injury cases, but this does not mean that they have the same experience with wrongful death cases. You should know how long they have worked on this case type specifically because it is one of the most complicated areas of civil and liability law on the books.
- Have you taken a wrongful death case to trial? Not all wrongful death claims will settle. Some need to go to trial for a court’s ruling. Ask if your wrongful death attorney has taken such a case to trial. If not, go into detail about how they would prepare for trial just in case.
- Can you tell me how many cases you have successfully settled? While speaking about trial experience, you should also ask about settlements. Just because a wrongful death attorney has years of experience does not mean they necessarily have thousands, hundreds, or even dozens of successful settlements on their record.
- Do you work on multiple cases at once? It is important to feel like your wrongful death claim is being prioritized by your attorney. Otherwise, you will never be satisfied with their work. Find out how many cases they allow themselves to work on at once.
- Do you have a support team? If you are concerned your wrongful death lawyer might be spreading themselves too thin with multiple cases, then ask about their support team. Do they have paralegals, law clerks, associate attorneys, and so on?
- Can you hire outside experts if needed? Sometimes the best evidence to use in a wrongful death claim can only be found by an expert, like a doctor or accident reconstruction specialist. Will your attorney be able to network with these experts if the situation calls for it?
- How do you feel about my case upfront? Lastly, ask them for an honest assessment of your case given what they know about it already. Honesty is a must in every client-attorney relationship. If they want to just tell you what you want to hear, then you might be surprised later to find that things aren’t going as they claimed.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Selecting a wrongful death attorney is just one step in a delicate process. No matter who you choose to represent you and your family, there will always be some moments of uncertainty. When you are feeling doubtful about the whole situation, it helps to remind yourself that the situation is not normal, and so you cannot expect to feel normal.
Keep these three things in mind to help you through it:
- You will feel hurt: It does not matter how well your wrongful death claim is progressing, you are still going to feel hurt like you never have before.
- Money will never be a replacement: You should not hope for money to fill the gap in your life caused by losing your loved one. Financial compensation can help you stay financially secure without their income, but that is as far as it goes to support you.
- There is no guarantee for compensation: The best wrongful death attorney in the world still cannot promise a successful case result for you. There is always the chance that a judge or jury will disagree about liability for your loved one’s death, assuming that a settlement cannot be reached.
If you live in Sandusky and need a wrongful death attorney for a case of your own, then we of Murray & Murray would like to hear from you. During an initial consultation, we can learn more about each other to see if we are the right fit for your case. If we are, then we’ll discuss the next steps for hiring our representation. If we aren’t, then we’ll let you know because we value honesty and integrity. Please call us at (419) 664-3711 at your next opportunity.