Wrongful Death Suits: What to Look for in a Lawyer

Losing someone you love is painful. When you lose someone because of another person’s negligence, incompetence, greed or malice, the pain is even more hurtful. You may deal with emotions that fluctuate between sadness at the loss and wanting revenge against those responsible.

The reason for your loved one’s death could have been a medical error, a car accident, physical assault, or something else. It is important to know that you do not have to passively accept what happened and hope things get better. As your loved one’s survivor, you may have legal recourse against the person responsible for their death.

Although money will not bring your loved one back, it is often necessary to help you and your family move forward. Before you decide to file a wrongful death suit, you want to have confidence in the lawyer you choose to represent your case. Here are five things to look for when choosing the right personal injury lawyer Milwaukee WI trusts.

1. Honed Experience

Experience is important when choosing a lawyer, but it is essential that his or her experience match what you need. Practicing law for 30 years is not an automatic guarantee that the lawyer is qualified for your particular case.

This means you want a lawyer who has dedicated his or her career to the specific law related to your type of wrongful death case. For instance, a medical malpractice lawyer specializes in injuries and deaths resulting from a doctor’s negligence.

Determine the lawyer’s qualifications by:

  • Reading the firm’s website information about their experience and law practice
  • Asking about cases similar to yours and the outcome
  • Requesting referrals from the lawyer’s previous clients

2. Legal Strategy

The law can be a very complicated thing with many issues litigated inside and outside the courtroom. Legal skill and strategy matters, so you want to know if there is any real value in your case. With that understanding, it is also important to know what could increase or decrease the value.

  • A lawyer should know the legal arguments that will be made, particularly to reduce the likelihood that your case will be dismissed.
  • Another key strategy is whether there is more than one person or entity potentially responsible for your loved one’s death.
  • If this will be a multi-party lawsuit, confirm that the attorney has successfully won such cases as they can be especially complex.

3. Community Reputation

A successful lawyer becomes so in part because of their reputation that he or she has built over the years. When one or more persons refer you to the same lawyer, that is usually a good sign that he or she will be a good fit.

In addition, perform your own research and:

  • Read reviews online to make sure there are no claims of false promises or attorneys who abandon clients after getting a settlement.
  • Check the state bar association for any disciplinary actions against the lawyer due to professional misconduct.
  • Ask for references from other clients.

4. Aware of Changes in the Law

Another concern is that applicable laws that might affect your case can change. A good lawyer is not just aware of a Supreme Court ruling from five years ago. You want legal representation from a lawyer who is aware of any new legal precedents that could negatively impact your case.

5. Building a Rapport

Legal acumen and strategy are essential, but most cases will take more than that to win. During the preliminary interview, get to know your lawyer and assess how you feel during the conversation. Trust your gut and ask pointed questions such as:

  • Will you have a team working on my case?
  • How often can I expect to hear from you?
  • Who is your ideal client?

You want to work with someone who not only understands your case, but who will also use compassion. Someone who is receptive to your needs will fight to make sure your loved one’s death does not go unnoticed. Most attorneys offer a free consultation during which you can discuss your wrongful death suit and make decisions about how best to proceed.

hickey turimThanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim S.C. for their added insight into wrongful death suits.