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How to Find a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Miami

Families go through hell when they lose a brother, a mother, a son, or a daughter. Death is painful enough but can be excruciating when your family suffers a death that was preventable.

When negligence, a work accident, or medical malpractice takes someone close to us, the effects can be devastating.

Think for a moment about a family that loses a parent. Not only does wrongful death create a gaping hole in their lives, but there’s also the lost income, the medical expenses, and other costs for people left behind.

Lost in the mix of death is all of the people whose lives will never be the same. Wrongful death can affect the life trajectory of spouses, siblings, and children.

A wrongful death lawyer helps families identify what went wrong and who is responsible. While they can never fully replace what was lost, a good attorney will work aggressively to win justice for families and take the stress out of handling the complexities after someone in the family dies.

The steps you or a loved one takes after the wrongful death of a family member are crucial in getting the compensatory damages to cover all of the costs associated with your loved one’s passing and whatever comes next.

If you live in the greater Miami area, choosing the best attorney is one of the best things you can do to protect your family.

Here are some things you can do to find the right wrongful death lawyer in Miami.

A Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help Prove Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases hinge on whether there’s any evidence to prove that there was negligence or other factors that constitute wrongful death.

For example, if camera footage captures a company’s employees noticing a spill and walking away without marking or cleaning the area, and a person slips, falls, and dies, then that can be used in the case to prove negligence.

Some wrongful death cases are straightforward. Others, though, like when a faulty product kills someone in a family, can be more difficult. There’s no video evidence of what happened.

Ideally, the family members of the deceased will find a capable lawyer with years of experience proving wrongful death and negotiating damages settlements for their clients.

In proving negligence in wrongful death, for example, they’ll establish that:

  • The responsible party had a duty of care
  • They breached that duty of care (acted negligently or failed to do something they should have done)
  • The breached duty of care contributed directly to the death of your loved one
  • The death of your loved one caused harm, financial loss, emotional damage, and other adverse impacts to you and your family

The strength of your claim will ultimately impact how things go next.

How to Begin Your Search for an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer

Legal help is critical when you’re handling a wrongful death case. There is just too much on the line.

If the person who passed away has children and a spouse, then their future is on the line as well.

Hiring an expert lawyer will make all the difference. They’ll get to work immediately processing your insurance claims, drafting legal correspondence to at-fault parties, working with their investigators and experts, dealing with law enforcement, and managing all of the other things that take away from your time to grieve.

But how do you find a good wrongful death lawyer? Do you just look online and hire the first person who picks up the phone? If you’re lucky, this will work out, but it’s too important to leave to chance.

Yes, your search for an experienced wrongful death lawyer can start online, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Going online to search for a lawyer will help you figure out what’s out there. You can survey the scene and try to see what your options are.

There’s a lot of good information online nowadays. You can read customer reviews to get an idea of what kind of experience others had with a given firm or attorney.

Insider Tip – You can visit their website and read about past cases or settlement results that they’ve won for people they represented in wrongful death cases.

It’s a good start, but there’s more.

Talking to Lawyers in a No-Obligation Consultation

Stay away from lawyers who want to charge you to speak to you for the first time. This isn’t a good way to start what will possibly be a long-term, close relationship as you build and present your case.

The best lawyers will talk to you for the first time free of charge because they want to know whether your case has merit. They’re not going to spend hours of their time working on something they don’t feel will be successful.

In your initial consultation, this is the time for you to layout what’s happened to your loved one, but it’s also the time for you to ask questions about what’s next. Here are some things you should ask any wrongful death lawyer you talk to:

  • What kind of experience do you have with wrongful death cases? – They should be able to cite specific cases and talk to you about what the results were.

    Whether the case went to court and they won significant judgments, or the lawyer was able to negotiate compensatory damages in a settlement, they should have a demonstrated track record of success. Find out if the lawyer and their firm actually handled the case or had someone else do it (referred it out to them).

  • Ask them what it’s like being their client – See how they respond. You have to feel good about the relationship you have with your attorney. You should feel confident in their abilities, for certain, but you also need to feel comfortable calling them up and asking questions. There’s got to be a balance there.

  • Inquire about timelines – Ask them how long they think things will take. A good lawyer doesn’t over-promise. They set realistic expectations so you know how to plan.

  • Find out about payment and fees – Don’t be afraid to ask about rates, how they get paid, etc. This is important, and, even though you may feel like it’s an uncomfortable topic, you’ll be glad you did. Good lawyers are transparent with their clients and want them to has as much information as possible.

Choose the Best Attorney Available

When your family member, a friend, or someone else you care for dies of wrongful death, things get stressful.

If you’re a spouse who is suddenly faced with a significant drop in household income along with funeral bills, medical expenses, and other costs, worrying about how you’re going to pay for a lawyer makes sense.

However – and we want to underline this point because it’s so important – hiring an inexperienced/unskilled lawyer or someone who charges a more affordable rate shouldn’t be the priority.

You should always hire the best attorney you can, and the cost will sort itself out in most cases. The reason the best attorneys can charge higher rates is that they are in high demand.

They win larger settlements, work on faster timelines, and simply get better results for their clients.

Bottom line – don’t focus too much on cost. Your lawyer is likely going to get paid only if your case is successful. Hire someone with an incentive to do the best they can for you.  The advantage of contingency fee arrangements (where the attorney is paid a percentage of the recovery) is that you can hire the best attorneys without worrying about paying a very high hourly rate.

Once Hired, Your Attorney Will Begin to Gather Evidence

Many wrongful death cases aren’t as simple as the slip and fall death we described above. A lot of them involve inadequate security, faulty products, poor work policies, and other complex situations that are hard to prove.

Often, victims feel that their loved one died a wrongful death, but they just don’t know how to put a pin on what happened.

That’s what your attorney is for.

Once you hire your wrongful death lawyer, they will begin gathering enough evidence to build a strong case. This can be challenging in wrongful death cases, and an expert lawyer will know where to look.

They’ll do a deep dive into the details of what was happening before your loved one died. They will also examine the conditions that led directly to their death, as well as other details involved in their untimely passing.

Once they’ve gathered all of the facts, they’ll work with you on the best way to present the evidence. Then, they’ll establish what the next steps should be and how to go about it. Good attorneys have years of experience spotting details that a normal person would overlook.

Negotiating Compensatory Damages

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a wrongful death lawyer is that they will negotiate on your behalf.

In a lot of wrongful death cases, the at-fault party, like a business, the other driver’s insurance company, or an employer, will be quick to offer the victim’s family a settlement. They want the case to go away.

Usually, these settlements are a joke. They won’t go far in covering the medical bills incurred, let alone make up for the lost income.

A skilled attorney will know what’s fair when it comes to negotiating damages. If the at-fault parties aren’t presenting fair offers, then your attorney will take the issue to court.

This kind of advice is invaluable and vital to the long-term safety of the victim’s family.

Talk to the team at Leighton Law to hear how we fight for families who are dealing with the wrongful death of their loved one. We have years of experience winning significant claims and will talk to you about whether you have a case. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation. 

 

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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