The loss of someone dear to you can be hard to accept, especially if you think it could have been prevented. You might be asking yourself, “Do I need a lawyer for my wrongful death case?” The answer is no, but there are reasons why you might want to hire one.
Part of the process of moving on is finding out what happened and seeking justice for the unexpected passing of a family member. Bringing a civil action against parties responsible for the negligent or wrongful act also relieves some of the financial burdens that accompany your loved one’s death.
However, all these may be challenging to accomplish without the guidance of a professional who knows the laws and procedures related to a wrongful death action.
Although you might already know that you are eligible for wrongful death compensation in California, navigating the legal process might not be as simple as you think. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer can ease your worry of dealing with legal matters and your grief at the same time.
Additionally, pursuing damages can be less overwhelming if you have legal help during circumstances in which the deceased was in a car accident, workplace accident, died while under a medical professional’s care, or was a homicide victim. You can ask your lawyer any questions about your case so that you are not left wondering about your legal rights and how to exercise them. Having an attorney represent you could boost your claim and be instrumental in helping you win your case.
Other Benefits of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Lawyers who work on wrongful death claims are familiar with the legal process associated with these types of cases. Your attorney’s guidance can be valuable if you do not know what goes on in a wrongful death action. You will avoid doing things that could jeopardize your case, and you will be aware of documents and other requirements you need to submit. Moreover, your attorney can properly value your claim and pursue fair compensation.
Even if you have some essential understanding of your case, a lawyer can save you time and resources. There will be a lot of paperwork to file within strict deadlines, and it can be challenging to keep track of multiple tasks at once. A wrongful death lawyer is accustomed to managing these responsibilities and will have no trouble handling them promptly.
Wrongful Death Suits and Trial
When you file a lawsuit, it does not automatically mean your case will make it to trial. Most of the time, parties settle before it is time to appear in court. Still, it is wise to prepare for the possibility that you will have to go to trial if you wish to obtain the compensation you deserve. When this happens, you want to have a wrongful death lawyer to represent your interests and secure your right to make a recovery.
Be Aware of Legal Time Limits
Once you decide to file a wrongful death suit, you must initiate legal proceedings without delay. In most cases, California’s statute of limitations gives plaintiffs a maximum of two years from their loved ones’ death to sue at-fault parties, per California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. Beyond this period, you will likely lose your right to recover damages forever. Keep in mind that the deadline may be longer or shorter in your case if a rare exception applies. An attorney can review your case and help you move forward with your wrongful death action.
Qualities to Look for in a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Since you will regularly communicate with your attorney, it is vital to hire someone you feel comfortable working with. Wrongful death cases are highly emotional, and you need a compassionate yet diligent legal professional who can facilitate the tedious process ahead.
You should also consider the qualifications you are looking for in your attorney to help improve your case’s chances of prevailing. Seeking a civil remedy can involve negotiating with insurance companies and going to trial, so you want to ensure your legal representative is thoroughly prepared to face various legal challenges.
How Much a Wrongful Death Lawyer Costs
Generally, you do not have to pay fees upfront in a wrongful death case. With a contingency fee arrangement, your lawyer will only collect payment if you recover a financial settlement. You will pay a certain agreed-upon percentage of the compensation you collect after winning your case. It is necessary to discuss the fee arrangement with your lawyer beforehand to make sure you understand the costs and payment terms involved.
Consult with a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
In these challenging times, you might wonder do you need a lawyer for your wrongful death case to give you professional guidance and support. You can always pursue legal action on your own and without legal assistance, but hiring an attorney to help you manage your case can ease some of your stress and give you a clearer path forward.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to help. To learn more about your rights and how we can help you, call (800) 223-5115 to schedule a free consultation.