11 Things to Expect When You Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney
You Will Not Have to Pay Your Attorney UpfrontIn most wrongful death cases, your attorney will not require you to pay them hourly or pay any costs upfront. Instead, you will pay a percentage from the compensation won from your lawsuit. Your attorney will go over their fees ahead of time so that you will be fully prepared for any costs.
There Will Be a Lot of ResearchWrongful death cases can be complicated, and your attorney will do a lot of research and investigation to help win your case. Be prepared to share any information you have on the circumstances of the loss of your loved one. This may be difficult but will play a key role in helping you get the justice and compensation you are owed.
In addition to the facts that you provide, your attorney will begin to seek more information which may include medical expertise, a full review of applicable insurance policies, and eye-witness accounts. All of this research will help determine if your claim is viable for a lawsuit and what damages you are legally owed.
This Will Be a Long ProcessUnfortunately, there will be no avoiding the fact that this is going to be a long process for you and everyone involved. You can expect that your attorney will spend several weeks gather evidence prior to filing a formal legal claim, and the trial itself will likely last several days or weeks. Prepare yourself, and try to take solace in knowing that you are doing this to get justice for your loved one.
Your Attorney Will Help You Understand Your CaseWrongful death claims are one of the most complex types of cases that lawyers handle. It is completely natural to not fully understand your case, and your attorney will help you through this. You will likely have many questions and concerns throughout the process, which can be directed to your attorney.
You Have a Little Time to File Your ClaimIn Kansas City, you have up to two years from the wrongful death to file your claim. This gives you time to grieve and your attorney time to fully prepare your case prior to making any formal claim. It is important to be aware of the time frame you are allowed and to take full advantage of this time to build your case.
Depending on the complexity of your case, you may be ready to file well before your two-year time period has expired. Your lawyer will work with you to determine the best time to file. This can vary from case to case, so if you have any questions or concerns, we always suggest you bring them to your attorney so that you can all be on the same page concerning the expectations of your case.
There Will Be NegotiationsBefore submitting your case to the courts, your attorney will compile a substantial claim to submit to your insurance company. Once this has been submitted, you will begin a settlement negotiation. If you have a very clear case, you will likely be able to settle before having to go to trial, however, in more complex cases, a court case may be necessary.
Your Attorney Will File a ComplaintFiling your complaint is the beginning of the formal legal process. This will involve a factual recounting of your wrongful death claim. Your complaint will be submitted to a judge who will determine if your case is viable to bring to court.
Once a judge has accepted your complaint, the other parties will be notified and given a time frame in which they must respond. Your lawyer will handle this process for you so that you can focus on healing. After filing your complaint, you may have to wait for a long period of time before going to trial as your lawyer prepares your case.
You Will Have Time to Focus on Your HealingOne of the great perks of hiring a wrongful death attorney includes more time for you to handle your grief. While your attorney compiles all of the facts for your case, you will be able to take a back seat and focus on yourself. This is likely a difficult time in your life, and you deserve time to fully process and heal without being bogged down by the complications of your lawsuit.
Your Attorney Will Determine the Damages OwedThere are two types of damages that come into play with a wrongful death case: non-economic and economic. Non-economic damages involve compensation due from suffering, while economic damages involve lost wages, funeral costs, and other monetary losses you may be facing. Your attorney will determine what damages you are legally owed, so you do not have to worry about figuring out these complicated figures.
Your Case May Not Be Presented to a JuryIn some wrongful death cases, the defendants will file a motion to have a judge make the ultimate decision. This may seem odd but is completely normal with these types of complicated cases. Don't be concerned if this applies to your case. Your attorney will notify you and is equipped to handle these circumstances.
You Will Spend Less Time in Court Than You May ThinkIf the majority of your legal knowledge comes from television and film, you may be expecting a great amount of your time will be spent in a courtroom with a high-energy trial. In most cases, there will actually be a lot more downtime than you think. Most of your lawyer's time will be spent compiling the facts and building a strong case.
While you will likely spend some time in court, it will be small compared to the amount of time spent preparing for trial. This time away from the court will be extremely important for your case. Rest assured that your lawyer is spending this time ensuring that they have everything they need to win your case.