When a loved one dies untimely, the financial and emotional consequences that occur as a result can be a great hardship for family members. Many of these deaths are the result of another party’s wrongful actions or negligence, and wrongful death lawsuitsare often filed to seek financial compensation to provide for the victim’s family. It is also a way to hold the responsible party or parties accountable.
Any attorney considered to handle a wrongful death lawsuit should have extensive knowledge and experience in this area of the law. Here are some of the items to discuss with the lawyer(s) you are considering to handle your case:
- Ask if each attorney has both litigation and negotiation experience. Cases can end up settling out of court or going to trial and an attorney needs to be prepared for either.
- Ask all attorneys under consideration for a history of prior cases, including the percentage of settlements versus trial cases and of case successes.
- Inquire about all fees up front, including the cost if any for initial consultation and contingency fees.
- Ask for details on who will handle your case. Attorneys with heavy case loads often delegate the major work load to law students or junior level lawyers.
Avoid attorneys who claim case success for all clients. All cases are unique and require individual review before it can even be determined if a case actually exists. Other tips for choosing a wrongful death attorney include:
- Do research to find out if any formal complaints have been made against a lawyer before making a final decision.
- Talk with others who have knowledge of the industry, such as estate lawyers, or contact the Oregon State Bar for a recommendation from their referral service. We also recommend viewing sites like Avvo.com for client ratings and reviews.
Keep in mind also that there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. For more information on filing a case, contact a Portland wrongful death attorney to schedule an initial consultation so that all your questions can be answered.