When a person loses their life due to the negligent actions of another person, you may have the right to recover monetary damages for your losses. Pursuing a claim without a wrongful death lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Woodland Hills, CA, is not advisable as it could result in confusion, misunderstanding, or a loss of compensation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Nearly all states require a court appointed representative of the estate belonging to the deceased to file a claim. This representative can be a wrongful death lawyer or a family member. He or she will file a case for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children, or any other immediate family members.
Damages that May Be Recoverable
The damages available in a wrongful death claim will depend on the state law. All states allow for the recovery of economic damages; however, the precise damages will vary:
- Nearly all states allow for funeral and burial costs to be recovered
- Most states allow the claimant to file for a loss of financial support
- Some states allow damages for a loss of prospective inheritance
- Some states allow compensation for the deceased’s total lifetime earning capacity
- Nearly every state allows the descendants to recover damages for pain and suffering
- Economic damages including loss of companionship is available in some states
It should be noted that some states have placed caps on what can be recovered. A wrongful death lawyer might help you to understand what damages may be available for your own case. Until then, it is not possible to tell you what your case is worth.
What Should I Look for in a Wrongful Death Lawyer
There are many different types of lawyers. Some of these are divorce lawyers, some handle personal injury claims, other workers’ compensation claims, and there are those who fight for the rights of families who have lost a loved one. It is important to know what seperates a legal advocate who can handle a wrongful death claim from those who are better suited to other types of cases. Some factors to consider include:
- What kind of resources does the lawyer have – Wrongful death claims cost a lot of money. From hiring expert witnesses and investigators to gathering the necessary evidence, expenses can quickly accumulate. It is very important that the lawyer you choose has these resources. In general, a lawyer with experience and a reputation of recovering settlements and verdicts will be more likely to have the resources your case needs.
- Experience – To ensure your case has a good chance at winning, you should opt for a lawyer with some level of experience. This is not to say newly graduated lawyers are not good at what they do, but rather, when it comes to complicated cases, it may be a good idea to choose a firm who has experienced lawyers.
- Dedication, tenacity, and diligence – Some firms will handle a broad range of cases, but with wrongful death cases, it may be in your best interest to choose a firm, or lawyer, who focuses a large part of their practice to wrongful death claims. It is also important to look for a legal advocate who has the time to dedicate enough attention to your case. A lawyer with a heavy caseload, and who might treat your case like another number, will likely not be as successful.
- Reputation – It may be in your best interest to seek out a wrongful death lawyer who is known for obtaining maximum damages for their clients. A lawyer with a good reputation can let the defending side you are serious about getting results that matter.
If you would like to know more about how a wrongful death lawyer can help you, call one today.
Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg Law for their insight into what you should look for in a wrongful death lawyer.