Wrongful death lawsuits are highly complex and confusing. Some lawyers have the experience and skill to handle your case and maximize recovery. Others do not. How do you know which law firm is right for you? Having a list of questions to ask a wrongful death attorney before hiring them can help you determine which law firm has the necessary knowledge and expertise to find justice for you and your family.
At The Larsen Firm, we’ve represented the families of wrongful death victims for nearly 40 years. Our vast experience helps us focus on the issues that matter most when it comes to your financial recovery. Today, we will provide you with a list of questions to ask a lawyer during a consultation. We invite you to bring that list and any additional questions you may have so we can discuss them during your initial consultation. Our highly knowledgeable attorneys will be happy to answer all of your questions during your consultation and throughout our attorney-client relationship.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
In the wake of losing someone you love, your mind could be overwhelmed with questions about what happened and why. It may take time for all of this to settle in your mind, but in the meantime, allow us to provide you with some questions to ask your wrongful death attorney. These common questions to ask when hiring an attorney might help you choose a good lawyer and understand the process a little better.
How Much Can I Get?
The answer to this question is typically more complex than people realize. While most people want to know exactly what their claim is worth right away, it is impossible to say with any precision at the outset what the final value might be.
California’s wrongful death law allows the surviving members of the decedent’s family to recover economic damages like:
- Loss of earnings,
- Loss of gifts and other benefits,
- Funeral and burial expenses, and
- Loss of value to the household.
The law also permits the plaintiff to recover for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include loss of society and friendship, loss of guidance, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship, among others.
As you can see, it’s tough to pin down exactly what your claim is worth until we thoroughly investigate the details of how the death of your loved one impacted your life. That takes a little time. But only after a full accounting will you be able to see the complete picture of your compensable losses.
Remember that California law might allow other legal claims for other damages like pain and suffering, medical bills, or conscious pain and suffering. The law allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to pursue such damages in a related but distinct cause of action called a “survival action.”
How Long Will the Case Take?
Each case has its timeline. As long as you file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs, then the amount of time to resolve a case varies. Some wrongful death suits are less complex than others. Some claims settle during the negotiations phase, while others need to go to trial. And the type of case matters—as a claim based on a fatal car accident is likely to be less complicated than a product liability claim.
Furthermore, some cases settle quickly because liability and damages are evident, while other cases take more time because the legal and factual issues are complex.
Our The Larsen Firm wrongful death attorneys understand that you want the case over as soon as possible. We work diligently, but we will not rush a case unless doing so is in your best interest.
Have You Handled Wrongful Death Cases Before?
Everyone needs to start somewhere. However, hiring a lawyer with no experience could be the worst decision you can make. At The Larsen Firm, we have over four decades of experience successfully handling a variety of wrongful death cases, including:
- Car accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents,
- Public transportation accidents,
- Workplace deaths,
- Medical malpractice,
- Construction failures and deaths occurring on dangerous property,
- Failure of security, and
- Defective products.
This list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of the various cases we’ve won for our clients.
Have You Handled a Case Like Mine Before?
In the last 40-plus years, we have learned that despite similarities, two cases are exactly alike. They are as unique as the people involved.
However, the legal issues in wrongful death cases often overlap. So while all cases have unique elements, you can be sure that we have handled issues like those that exist in your case—probably many times over the years.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
California’s wrongful death statute allows only specific individuals to file a wrongful death claim. Typically, a surviving spouse, child, domestic partner, or someone legally dependent upon the person who died (decedent) has a right to file a claim. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate can also file on behalf of the people entitled to claim under the statute.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to File a Lawsuit?
The general rule gives you only two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. However, the period you have to file a medical malpractice claim could be as long as three years. But don’t delay. Waiting until the last minute to contact a lawyer for help will surely weaken your case, so call us right away if you have any questions.
Other Questions to Ask When Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Call The Larsen Firm today at 855-508-9565 to make an appointment to discuss your case. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Our unparalleled expertise, proven track record, and our dedication to our clients distinguish us from most other law firms. Our AVVO 10.0 rating and AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell are just two of the many industry accolades we have been honored to receive. So contact us today to find out how we can help you and your family.