The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. An experienced attorney can begin investigating immediately and ensure that all useful evidence is preserved. An experienced attorney will also deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and help prevent you from making any mistakes.
- Law firms within the 1-800-LAW-FIRM Legal Network have an outstanding record of success representing clients, including those with lawsuits arising from civil negligence, medical malpractice, product liability, semi-truck and motor vehicle negligence, workplace injuries and construction accidents.
- Our attorneys are skilled negotiators; however, they are also highly experienced litigators who are not afraid to take a case to trial.
- We have an established and constantly expanding network of expert resources to aggressively pursue the best outcome for our clients under their unique circumstances.
- We exclusively represent individuals who have suffered severe injuries and families that have lost loved ones.
- Our lawyers and legal support staff take great pride in delivering personalized legal service, never losing focus of what matters: our client.
Damage amounts recovered for wrongful death are generally not taxable.
You are entitled to know, to the extent that we can reasonably inform you at your first visit, what your fee will be. We encourage a frank, open discussion about our fees with each client at the time of the first interview.
Lawyers are paid under various fee arrangements.
On an hourly fee basis, fees are based on an hourly rate for services rendered. A detailed, itemized bill will be given to you showing all work done on your case. This explanation may come monthly or at the end of your case, whichever way you choose to be billed. Unless otherwise agreed, the hourly fee basis will be the presumed fee arrangement.
On a flat fee basis, your legal fee is a stated sum for agreed upon services. No accounting will be made.
On a contingency fee basis, your legal fees will be based on the amount of recovery we get for you; no recovery, no fee. You may have the option of choosing this plan in lieu of hourly charges. Not all cases qualify for the contingency basis; we will tell you if yours does. In either case, we will prepare for you an employment agreement setting forth the fee arrangement.
Other Potential Fees
A pre-payment will often be required in order to begin to process your matter and you will be kept advised as to how that pre-payment is being used. Bills will be sent to you periodically showing your charges and payments.
Certain cases may have a minimum fee. This means that no hourly accounting will be made unless excess time is expended.
We try to keep legal fees as reasonable as possible. The amount of services required, however, is not fully within our control. We discuss with our client options for services and the benefits of services. Sometimes, however, services are directly related to an opposing party’s action or inaction. Please feel free to discuss fees with your lawyer.
The primary contingency fee definition is a fee arrangement that allows you to avoid out-of-pocket costs entirely. It is a percentage of the settlement that you receive if you win your case. That’s right; your lawyer only gets paid if you win.
It might seem like a high risk for the lawyer, but the reward per case can be considerable. Contingency fees provide the lawyer with an incentive to get you the highest settlement possible as quickly as possible. Most personal injury lawyers charge 33 1/3 percent if the case settles without filing a lawsuit and 40% if a lawsuit is filed.
In addition to legal fees, there are various expenses that must be paid to others in order to prepare your legal matter. For example, payments must be made to obtain necessary reports or copies of necessary documents, to employ court reporters to take depositions, to obtain licenses or permits from governmental authorities, to file suits in courts of law, in addition to other outside entities that are necessary to help your cause. Generally, the amounts of these charges will be in direct proportion to the complexity of the matter involved. The easier your matter is to solve, the less these costs will ordinarily be.
At the start of your legal matter, we will try to estimate for you the amount of out-of-pocket expenses which may be incurred on your behalf. We will discuss with you whether or when you will be required to reimburse us for these expenditures which are made on your behalf to further your legal cause.
Most states require a wrongful death case to be filed by a court-appointed personal representative of the estate of the deceased person. The personal representative usually brings the wrongful death case for the benefit of the deceased's surviving spouse and children, if there are any, or more distant relatives if not. Often courts appoint one of the wrongful death claim beneficiaries as the personal representative.
Usually this is a question of state law, and state law varies:
While all states allow for recovery of some form of economic losses, the precise economic damages allowed vary state to state:
Almost all states allow damages for funeral and burial expenses and for loss of financial support from the deceased person.
Some states also allow damages for loss of prospective inheritance.
Other states allow recovery of the deceased person's total lifetime earning capacity.
Most states allow recovery for any conscious pain and suffering experienced by the deceased, although a few states do not.
Many states allow noneconomic damages to the surviving spouse or next of kin such as loss of society and companionship damages, and while the trend has been to allow noneconomic damages in wrongful death cases, some states still do not allow the surviving family members to recover noneconomic damages. Moreover, some of the states that allow recovery of noneconomic damages in wrongful death cases place limits on what may be recovered, while others not only do not place arbitrary limits on what may be recovered, but view such limits as unconstitutional.
A qualified wrongful death attorney will be able to provide counsel about how the law applies to a particular case, including what types of damages may be recovered, whether any damages caps apply and the best strategies to pursue.