Did you recently lose a loved one due to negligence and have questions? We put together these 3 wrongful death facts for you to read, then call our office.
1) Choosing a Wrongful Death Attorney
To choose an attorney for a wrongful death case, you need to do your research. There are so many different ways these days for you to find out what the credentials are of an attorney, and it doesn’t mean that you need to rely on the ones that advertise on TV. Those attorneys on TV may not necessarily have the credentials that you need to handle a wrongful death case. Get online, look at Martindale-Hubbell, and see if the lawyer has the highest rating, which would be an AV rating. Go to Super Lawyers; which is a place that has lawyers rate one another from the defense and from the plaintiff side. If the lawyer that you’re looking to hire is a super lawyer, you know that they’ve been reviewed by peers on both sides. Look at Avvo. Avvo rates attorneys as well. Look at whether or not the attorney you’re thinking about hiring is active in the plaintiff side of litigation. Are they a member of the American Association for Justice? Are they a member of The Florida Justice Association? Have they been active in lobbying on behalf of the rights of victims? Research your lawyer and pick the right one.
2) Wrongful Death Attorney Fees
We are often asked by people who lose a loved one through the negligence of another how much the lawsuit is going to cost. There are litigation costs that are pretty fixed. It costs around $500 in the state of Florida to file a wrongful death lawsuit or any kind of lawsuit. Often, you need an autopsy to prove the cause of death. Autopsies can be fairly expensive if they’re not done for statutory reasons. If a loved one dies unattended, even if it’s due to the fault of someone else, then the county will do an autopsy. If you need an autopsy, that’s something that’s going to cost around $5,000. Often, those are costs that a law firm who’s investigating your case will front for you and take the repayment out of the recovery of the lawsuit. Sometimes you also need expert witnesses. Depending on the nature of the expert witnesses – whether it’s a pathologist, a neurosurgeon, a spinal surgeon, an emergency room physician – they range anywhere from $400 an hour to upwards of $1,200 an hour, and they bill for every hour that they work on the case. Lawyers who handle wrongful death cases will pay those expenses up front and receive the compensation or repayment of those expenses from the recovery in the lawsuit. The main thing that you need to do in order to make sure that your wrongful death case is thoroughly investigated is contact a firm that is accustomed to those issues and the handling of wrongful death matters.
3) Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Often, we’re asked whether or not a brother or a sister can bring a claim for a sibling that arises from wrongful death. There’s a specific statute in the state of Florida. If there’s a spouse, the spouse has standing, first and foremost, to bring that claim, and they have the right to be the personal representative. If there are no children, sometimes a sibling can serve as the representative, but it’s unlikely. There are very few scenarios where a sibling can bring a claim, unless they are just going to be the personal representative for children of the decedent, so that they serve in that capacity because the children are underage.
Did you lose a loved one from another’s negligence and have questions about these 3 wrongful death facts? Contact a Florida wrongful death attorney at Morgenstern and Herd today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
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