Wrongful Death - (Florida) What do I ask an attorney?
Losing a loved one is hard. If the death was wrongfully caused by another person or corporation the deceased estate and/or survivors may have a claim for wrongful death. Grieving while pursing legal action is difficult. Ask the right questions to ensure you get the help you need!
How do I know if I have a claim?If you lost your loved one in any type of "accident" you need an experienced wrongful death attorney to investigate the facts to determine whether there is any "wrongful action" by another person or corporation. Clients often come into my office absolutely sure that the death of their loved one was a complete accident and no one was at fault. Most of the time they are wrong.
I always caution my inner circle to have any/all accidental deaths reviewed by an attorney. I don't want them waking up in 5 years wishing they would have investigated the death. If they fail to investigate some people are haunted for the rest of their lives wondering if they should have pursued justice on behalf of their loved one. It doesn't hurt to have an attorney review the case for free. My law firm will never charge a consultation fee to review a case. What most people want is closure. Don't deny yourself closure.
After interviewing an attorney how do I know whether I shoud hire him or her?8 essential questions come to mind:
1. Ask how long they have been in practice. Wrongful death cases are complex and meet powerful opposition. You don't want someone right out of law school handling a wrongful death case.
2. Ask if the practice is focused on injury/wrongful death cases or are they a general practice firm. (You wouldn't want your general practice doctor doing heart surgery. )
3. Do they list examples of settlements and verdicts on their website?
4. Do they actually take cases to trial?
5. Are they connected in the community? (Remember, a good lawyer must be able to connect with the men and women of their community. These are the people who serve on juries)
6. Have they been recognized by their peers for their achievements?
7. Do they have the resources to handle complex and expensive litigation? (Talk to them, observe their offices, their website, their verdicts...does the law firm appear to have the resources to fight)
8. Do they maintain an extensive website showing their history, credentials and success?
After I hire an attorney should I just let him take over even though I have questions?NO! A good attorney will never be afraid of questions. In fact, most good attorneys will tell you up front that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. Being involved in a wrongful death claim requires teamwork, open and transparent communication and trust. Trust typically develops as a result of good communication. Unless you are asking the same question over and over your attorney should always be receptive to your communication! Don't settle for anything less.