The sudden death of a loved one is devastating under any circumstances. And it’s especially painful when it was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Picking up the pieces after such a tragedy can be overwhelming. However, the law entitles you to monetary compensation when you lose a loved one due to another’s negligence.
Of course, no amount of money can ever replace your family member, but it can help you find some relief and solace.
Before you file a wrongful death claim, you need to find quality legal representation. However, there are many Richmond wrongful death attorneys to choose from.
There are six questions to ask a wrongful death attorney that will help you determine whether they are the right fit for your needs.
Six Questions to Ask a Wrongful Death Attorney
There are many good questions to ask an attorney during an initial consultation.
However, these questions will give you a deeper understanding of what you can expect from the attorney and the overall trajectory of the case.
Question #1: What Kind of Experience Do You Have With Wrongful Death Claims?
This question should be first on your list of questions to ask when hiring a wrongful death lawyer.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to handle your case more effectively because they will be well-versed in the applicable law and know how to craft a strong claim.
An experienced attorney will also be able to better evaluate the potential outcomes for your case and more accurately calculate your damages.
Choosing a lawyer who has a successful track record of obtaining wrongful death compensation is one step you can take to help your own chances of success.
Question #2: What Types of Compensation Am I Eligible to Receive?
This is another one of the most useful wrongful death questions to ask an attorney.
Because the facts and circumstances of wrongful death cases can vary widely, it can be difficult to understand what types of compensation you can receive.
Virginia’s wrongful death statute lays out several kinds of damages available in these sorts of cases, including the following:
- Damages for sorrow, mental anguish, and solace;
- Compensation for economic losses due to losing the decedent’s income and losing the value of their services and protection;
- Expenses for the medical care of the deceased prior to their death; and
- Reasonable funeral expenses.
In some cases, you may even be able to recover punitive damages, which, as the name suggests, are designed to punish parties that have acted in an especially egregious manner.
Your attorney should also tell you whether there is a damages cap that may apply to your case.
Question #3: How Much Do You Charge for Your Services?
For obvious reasons, it is vital to understand how much you can expect to pay the attorney.
When discussing the attorney’s fees, you need to know both their hourly rate and whether they take cases on a contingency fee basis.
Hiring a lawyer on a contingency fee basis means that you don’t need to pay hourly fees to the attorney.
Instead, the attorney will receive a percentage of any damages you recover. Contingency fees usually range between 25% and 40% of the total compensation.
Question #4: Do I Have a Strong Case?
When you have an initial consultation with an attorney, they should offer their opinion on whether you have a strong case. If they do not, make sure you ask this question.
While no attorney can predict the outcome of your case, they can give you a general idea of what your chances of success are based on their personal experience representing clients in similar cases.
Question #5: How Does The Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process Work?
Establishing expectations early on is a critical part of the legal process. It is also a great way to maintain a healthy relationship with your legal counsel.
When you ask this question, the attorney should discuss each step of the lawsuit process in some detail.
They should also discuss all possible outcomes and provide you with a rough estimate of how long it will take to resolve your case.
Depending on the complexity of your wrongful death case, it may take up to several years for your claim to work its way through the court system.
Naturally, many factors affect this timeline, including the number of witnesses, the amount of damages you’re seeking, and whether you are able to reach a settlement before going to trial.
Question #6: Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
There are many reasons you should hire an attorney. Attorneys know how to collect evidence that supports your claim.
In addition, they are trained in presenting your case effectively in many different situations, including settlement negotiations and litigation.
However, this is still a good question to ask a wrongful death attorney. The reason for this is that the attorney’s answer will give you a good sense of what you can expect from them.
They may highlight their track record of success, previous awards, and familiarity with the opposing counsel or local judicial personnel.
Whatever their answer, it will help you understand what the attorney’s strengths are and whether their experience and skill set meet your needs.
Do You Have More Questions to Ask a Wrongful Death Attorney? Call River Run Law Today.
Wrongful death is a complicated area of law. On top of that, there’s no such thing as a “typical” wrongful death claim.
The River Run Law team is here to answer all of your wrongful death questions and help you protect your rights.
If you’re looking for a dedicated Richmond wrongful death attorney, then look no further.
We care about our client’s well-being and are passionate about helping them find justice and peace after tragedy strikes.
Our attorneys are award-winning legal champions with a track record of success who can help you hold the party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.