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Wrongful Death Law Firms

Wrongful Death Law Firms


A Short Introduction to Wrongful Death Law Firms

What is a wrongful death law firm?

Wrongful death law firms help families find recourse when one of their members dies because of someone else’s negligence. Mistakes that go unpunished have the potential to be repeated, so wrongful death law firms commit a service, both to the loved ones of a deceased person and to the community at large.

What kinds of cases do wrongful death law firms take?

Medical malpractice: Most medical procedures are inherently risky, and you can’t file a suit against a medical professional just because there treatment didn’t work as planned. Deaths through negligence, however, are entirely avoidable and utterly tragic. Any medical professional can become the subject of a fatal malpractice suit, including nurses, dentists, and pharmacists, but the majority of these professionals are doctors. Surgeons who perform without due caution, anesthesiologists who administer too much anesthesia, and doctors who pursue dangerous treatment without obtaining informed consent are particularly common causes of fatal malpractice suits.

Product liability: The manufacturers and distributors of goods are under an obligation to make sure that those products are safe, and when they are not and their products cause a death, a wrongful death law firm will take these groups to court. Automobile part manufacturers are often charged in wrongful death suits for their flawed tires, seatbelts, brakes, or fuel systems. Some medical products such as joint replacements also lead to death if they are made improperly, as do children’s toys and household items.

Workplace accidents: There is a legal precedent stating that businesses must keep their workplaces and tools safe for intended use, and if any company through improper maintenance does fatal harm to its employees, it can be held responsible by a wrongful death law firm. Typical workplace accidents can be as simple as a tragic slip-and-fall, but many others have to do with machine and complex tool failures. Employers may also be responsible if their inhumane working requirements led to tool misuse on the part of an employee (for instance, a truck driver who died from driving for a period of time without break despite requesting one).

Police misconduct: Death from excessive use of force from a police officer is certainly not common, but when it happens it is especially egregious since policing forces only work if they obtain the trust of the populace. With the help of a wrongful death law firm, judges and juries are often convinced that a large settlement is the only way of obtaining that trust again.

How much money can a wrongful death law firm get my family?

Damage awards in wrongful death cases are often very large to account for the enormous tragedy of an unnecessary death. If your case is successful, then you will receive money in one of two ways—an out-of-court settlement reached between your wrongful death law firm and the defendant's counsel. or a final judgment from the jury or judge in your case.

The award will be the sum of your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the easier to figure out, since they are all things that come inherently with a price tag. For instance, funeral expenses and medical expenses are big economic damages. Just as important as economic damages are the loss of future income and benefits that a person would have made had they not died.

Non-economic damages are usually estimated by a wrongful death law firm as a multiple of your economic damages. They’re the intangible qualities associated with a person’s death, such as the pain and suffering experienced by a person in death and the decrease in life quality for those who’ve survived.

Some states also award punitive damages, which are simply meant to punish an especially negligent party as opposed to compensating the victim’s family. They’re rare, but more common for wrongful death law firms because of the seriousness of the crime. These awards can be very large if they’re given out, as much as ten times the economic damages.

How will I pay my wrongful death law firm?

In most cases, you will pay your wrongful death law firm using what is referred to as a contingency plan. That means that you only pay if the firm gets you a settlement or an award at the end of the legal process. If they do, then they will take a portion of that award. The portion is limited in some states, but in general it is between 20% and 40%, leaning more toward 40% for the smaller the award.

Be aware that some wrongful death law firms also charge auxiliary fees that are not covered under a contingency plan. These are for things such as paralegal and legal researcher fees, legal document drafting, or meeting preparation. Be sure to discuss all such auxiliary fees with your wrongful death law firm before you hire them.

How do I decide which wrongful death law firm to hire?

Once you believe that a wrongful death law firm might bring justice to your situation, you should conduct some research into their practice. See if they’ve appeared in the news and whether any of their lawyers have a disciplinary record.

If your interest remains, schedule a consultation meeting with the wrongful death law firm. These meetings go by very quickly, so it is important that you use your time wisely to get a good sense of the practice and if it is a right choice for you. Here are some important questions to ask:

1. What experience has the firm had with cases that are similar to my own?

2. Which lawyers will be handing my wrongful death case? Will different lawyers handle different aspects of my case?

3. What fees do you charge, and what percentage will you deduct from my final award?

4. What legal strategies to plan on using to win my case?

5. Has any of the attorneys at this wrongful death law firm ever had disciplinary actions taken against them? If so, why?

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