Bagen Law Firm | December 3, 2022 | Uncategorized
If a Florida accident led to the death of your loved one, you probably feel shocked, angry, and otherwise devastated. Unfortunately, we often hear about victims suffering collisions at the dangerous corner of Northwest 39th Avenue and Northwest 34th Street. Or someone may fall from a commercial building in downtown Gainesville or Ocala because someone negligently installed a faulty handrail. Perhaps you lost your family member after a multi-car accident with a semi-truck on I-75.
When an accident takes your family member from you, additional challenges and stressful situations arise that you don’t need to face alone. As you grieve and process your loss, you may also face financial insecurity and uncertainty about moving forward. If someone else caused your loss, you deserve the best wrongful death lawyer in Florida working for you.
Finding the right attorney can help you resolve related legal issues and begin the healing process. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can help guide you through one of the most difficult times in your life. But with so many potential attorneys to choose from, how do you find the best wrongful death lawyer in Florida to protect your family’s rights?
Searching for the Best Wrongful Death Lawyer in Florida
Before your start your search for the best Florida wrongful death attorney, you need to know if you may bring a claim for your loss. When someone dies in Florida due to another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, certain family members may bring a wrongful death claim.
The estate of the deceased can bring a claim and may recover financial losses (damages) for:
- A surviving spouse,
- Surviving children, including children born outside of marriage,
- The deceased person’s parents, and
- Other family members who depended on the deceased person for support.
If you are one of these people, look for a wrongful death attorney to represent the estate and ease the financial burdens you face. Search for someone who will treat you with respect and compassion while aggressively fighting for the compensation you and your family deserve from those responsible for your loved one’s death.
Do Some Research to Find a Wrongful Death Attorney You Can Trust
The Florida Bar Association lists thousands of personal injury lawyers who may accept wrongful death cases. Your challenge is to find the best wrongful death lawyer in Florida to handle your case.
At this stage, you should consider these important factors before you hire a wrongful death attorney:
- How much experience does the lawyer have dealing with wrongful death cases? How successful have they been in prior cases?
- Does the attorney understand how your loved one’s incident occurred, who may have caused it, and what damages you can request for your loss?
- How many insurance companies has the lawyer dealt with and do they have the resources to face the insurer involved in your family member’s claim?
- Will the attorney file a lawsuit for you if settlement negotiations fail, or will they try to refer you to a different attorney to litigate the case?
- What is the lawyer’s past track record, and are former clients satisfied with the legal services they received?
By using the internet, you can find the answers to your questions without leaving your home or scheduling multiple appointments with lawyers who do not fit your circumstances.
Online Resources to Research the Best Wrongful Death Lawyers in Florida
The internet can provide an overwhelming amount of information depending on your search. Consider using these online tools to narrow your options.
Search engines –
Millions of people use Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search engines to answer questions about every topic under the sun. To search for a qualified lawyer, you might enter “Florida wrongful death attorney” or “Gainesville wrongful death lawyer” if you are in the Gainesville area.
Law firm websites –
Choose a few promising websites to review more carefully. Read the practice area pages to see if they handle wrongful death matters. Not every personal injury firm has the knowledge and experience required to resolve wrongful death cases. Click on their client testimonials page to read about other families that trusted that firm with a wrongful death claim.
Also, look at the firm’s previous success stories to see the results they achieved for other families in similar situations. See if the lawyers have received any prestigious awards or commendations in the personal injury and wrongful death legal communities that might set them apart from other potential law firms.
Customer/Client Review sites –
Business customers and law firm clients can access various review sites to comment on their experience working with the company or firm. Yelp is a general review site that includes legal businesses. Avvo is specifically focused on law firm and lawyer reviews. Read any client comments, good or bad, to understand what it’s like to work with the wrongful death lawyer you consider.
Legal bar associations –
The attorney you choose should belong to their state bar association and other relevant associations for the type of law they practice and the locations they serve. Search the Florida Bar Association website to see if your potential candidates are members in good standing. Also, check if they are on the executive board or any sub-committees and for how long they have served in those positions.
Attorney disciplinary websites –
Disciplinary review boards throughout the country monitor all U.S. lawyers. Each state has its own organization that accepts client complaints, reviews allegations of misconduct, and sanctions attorneys who violated the law or ethical rules of conduct. Before you hire a wrongful death lawyer in Florida, check the Florida Bar to ensure they are in good standing and it has not censured or disbarred them.
Social media –
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms allow former clients to praise or criticize their legal counsel. Keep in mind, legal cases don’t always turn out the way a client may expect, and not all attorney-client relationships go smoothly. Look for common themes, positive or negative, to understand how a lawyer handles certain situations. Overall, trust your instincts before accepting a stranger’s comments as accurate.
While reviewing these resources, consider the potential lawyer’s experience, reputation, and legal standing. Is the lawyer a solo practitioner, or do they have a team and other resources supporting them? Have they successfully resolved other wrongful death cases, and were they easy to work with? You may not find some of these answers online. In that case, consider asking for a referral.
Reach out to Trusted Sources for a Solid Attorney Referral
Choosing the best wrongful death lawyer in Florida is an important decision. Do your online research, but also talk to people you know who have worked with a lawyer in the past. Former clients and their extended circles of friends can provide excellent resources when deciding which lawyer should handle your case.
As you talk to former clients about their experiences, consider asking them:
- How were they treated throughout the case? Was the lawyer patient and respectful?
- How responsive was the lawyer? Did the client receive prompt responses to emails and phone calls?
- How well did they understand the legal process, their case strategy, and what to expect?
- Did they help make decisions, and did the lawyer involve them every step of the way?
- Were they satisfied with the final resolution of their legal matter?
- Did they feel the lawyer’s fees were reasonable?
- Would they use that lawyer again under similar circumstances?
Based on your research, narrow your search to a few top candidates and contact each for your case consultation. Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial meetings, so you should not have to pay to speak with the best wrongful death lawyers in Florida.
Narrowing Your Choices to Find the Best Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer for Your Claim
When you decide which lawyers to contact, set up a personal conference with each. During this meeting, discuss the specific facts surrounding your loved one’s death, how the incident occurred, who you may hold liable for your family’s losses, and what you need to do at this point. You should also learn more about the legal process, the steps your lawyer will take for you, and the potential outcome you can expect.
Most wrongful death lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis. When you work with a lawyer on these terms, you will not receive a bill for legal services during the case. The lawyers receive a percentage of the compensation you receive through settlement or trial verdict. Under this arrangement, you don’t have to worry about paying legal fees while you grieve and try to manage other family expenses.
At your free legal consultation, ensure the lawyer fully answers your questions and you completely understand your specific legal rights.
Prepare a list of questions in advance to make sure you don’t forget to ask something important.
Potential questions might include:
- How many Florida wrngful death claims have you handled?
- Have you resolved wrongful death cases like this one before?
- Have you opposed this business or insurance company in the past?
- How many cases have you settled without going to trial?
- How many trials have you handled? How many did you win?
- What deadlines am I facing?
- If I have questions, who do I contact?
- What is your honest opinion about my case?
- How much do you think my family will receive under these circumstances?
- How long will the legal process take before we receive compensation?
- How are you paid, and will you accept this case on a contingency fee basis?
Listen to your gut as you make this decision. You need to trust the lawyer you choose because you will spend a lot of time working with them during very challenging circumstances.
As you meet with different attorneys, get a feel for how well you communicate with each other and whether the relationship will be a good fit. Based on your research and personal meetings, you’re ready to choose the best wrongful death lawyer in Florida to represent you and your family.
Enter Into an Attorney-Client Agreement to Move Forward
After you have chosen the best wrongful death attorney for your claim, they will prepare a contract for your review. Understand every part of the agreement, especially what the lawyer will do for you, your obligations, and how they will calculate their legal fees.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will understand how to prove your claim and the supporting evidence needed.
Your lawyer should:
- Investigate the circumstances that caused your loved one’s death,
- Determine who you can hold liable for the incident and your subsequent losses,
- Gather the evidence that will support your claim against the insurance company or your lawsuit if you need to have a trial,
- Create a legal strategy and explain the process you will face,
- File a claim against the insurer and try to negotiate a settlement,
- File a lawsuit within the time allowed by law if a settlement is not possible and litigate the case to a final verdict, and
- Resolve your claim and recover the compensation you deserve as Florida law allows.
Wrongful death claims and cases involve complex legal arguments and negotiations with insurance companies that don’t want to pay for your family’s losses. The last thing you need to worry about at this time is fighting a stingy insurance company that doesn’t care about your needs. Your tenacious Florida wrongful death lawyer will fight for you while you focus on other important family matters.
With so Much at Stake, Hire the Best Wrongful Death Lawyer in Florida
After the sudden loss of a loved one, you may not know where to turn. Finding the best wrongful death lawyer in Florida is crucial to your recovery. Once you hire the right attorney to protect your family, you can focus on grieving your loved one and providing for your family’s future.