If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to what you believe to be the irresponsible or negligent actions of another person, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. For many people in this situation, though, the idea of hiring a wrongful death attorney and mounting a case can seem daunting and emotionally taxing. Here are seven qualities to look for in a wrongful death lawyer so that you can start the process of getting justice for your loved one.
- Compassion: In many cases, individuals or families who are thinking of filing a wrongful death claim over the passing of a loved one are still reeling from grief and loss. As such, one of the most important qualities to look for in a wrongful death attorney is compassion. You need someone who understands your grief, who is sensitive to the tragedy you have just gone through, and who can represent your interests and fight on your behalf.
- Experience: Wrongful death is a specific niche of legal practice, existing under the umbrella of personal injury law. Not all attorneys will have experience or expertise in this category. You’ll want to find a lawyer specializing in personal injury and wrongful death claims, as this person will be best equipped to explain the process to you and argue your case.
- Communication skills: It’s not always easy to understand legalese or the protocols of legal practice. A good lawyer will be able to break down these concepts and communicate them to you clearly. This kind of person is important to have in your corner at every phase of a wrongful death lawsuit, from the early stages (when your lawyer will help you understand what constitutes “wrongful death” and whether you have a case) to the later stages (when your lawyer will be able to keep you updated about the latest developments in the case and what you should expect from next steps).
- Approachability: You want a lawyer who you will feel comfortable approaching with any questions you might have as your case moves forward. Perhaps just as importantly, you’ll want to know that you will be able to quickly and consistently get in touch with your lawyer throughout the lawsuit. Smaller firms are often more approachable and personal—and easier to reach—than larger, more corporate firms.
- Integrity and character: Your lawyer should be a trustworthy person who will be honest and forthright in all their dealings with you, as well as with the other side. No one wants to besmirch the legacy of their loved one by bringing a wrongful death case based on false, misleading, or otherwise dishonest practices.
- Strong word-of-mouth: How do you know whether a wrongful death attorney is qualified to take on your case? Often, the best way to judge is through word-of-mouth. You can trust that a personal injury attorney with the skills and qualifies listed above will have a strong track record when it comes to personal injury or wrongful death matters, which in turn typically ignites strong word-of-mouth. If you have friends or family who have gone through wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits before, you might ask them for recommendations. If not, there’s always the internet. Either way, look for a lawyer with a good reputation.
- Good rapport: You always want to have a good rapport with your attorney, as you will need to develop a working relationship that could last months. As such, before you hire your attorney, try to get a sense of what they’re like and how it would be to work with them. Most lawyers offer free consultations to discuss your case and get some preliminary advice on how to proceed. This consultation is also a terrific opportunity to assess the lawyer’s demeanor and working style—and to get a sense of whether that style jells with yours.
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we believe that we bring all these qualities to the table. If you believe you have a wrongful death case on your hands and want to discuss the matter with an attorney who has experience with this type of matter, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.