Wrongful death victims may experience negligence, recklessness, and intentional actions. Their family members suffer deep losses but may seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Miami lawyers fight to ensure the decedent's survivors are compensated fully. But with so many attorneys, people need guidance on how to find the right one. Here are six tips.

Assessing Legal Experience With Wrongful Death Cases

The ideal lawyer for a wrongful death case is one with successful experience in similar cases. As such, those in search of a wrongful death lawyer should begin with candidates who have a reasonable amount of experience handling these types of cases.

From there, the next step is to determine just how much experience each candidate has. This can be accomplished through a phone or in-office consultation, both of which are typically offered at no charge.

Reviewing Resources and Team Composition

Once you have a list of candidates with ample successful experience pursuing wrongful death damages, you will move on to reviewing the resources and professionals each candidate brings to the table.

Wrongful death cases can be long and drawn out and frequently require extensive resources for investigation and representation purposes. What resources does each candidate have? In particular, what are the human resources they bring to bear on wrongful death cases?

Adept law firms should have enough attorneys, investigators, and legal support staff to comfortably and confidently take on the demands of wrongful death cases. Any cause for concern, such as staffing and other similar problems, should serve as red flags and a reason to shorten your list.

Other red flags in this context may include poorly arranged or maintained office space, lack of office space, lack of administrative or office staff, and anything that demonstrates inefficiency.

Researching Client Testimonials and Reviews

Client testimonials and reviews can be a treasure trove of information relevant to those in need of wrongful death lawyers. However, some reviews and testimonials may be suspect, so these should be approached with caution. In most cases, a firm with hundreds or thousands of top-notch reviews is likely a great choice.

Setting Up a Free Consultation

Perhaps the most important part of your search for the best wrongful death lawyers in Miami is the free consultation. Personal injury law firms generally offer free consultations, which give them a chance to review potential cases and inform potential plaintiffs of the merits of their cases.

During your free consultation, you will receive a preliminary case review as well as the opportunity to ask questions and get a feel of your potential future lawyer.

Accessibility and Communication Styles

Accessibility is an important feature for many people in search of wrongful death representation. They need professionals whom they can reach with their questions and get answers promptly. Will the lawyer you choose take your calls or hand you off to a paralegal? Do you feel like just another case number when you meet with an attorney?

During your free consultation, you are free to ask questions about communicating with your lawyers. Many provide clients with direct attorney access 24/7, which is very comforting. The bottom line is that if reaching your attorney looks like it may be a problem, consider scratching that attorney or law firm off the list.

Wrongful death cases can take months or even years. You need representation by a professional whose communication style agrees with your style and moods. Additionally, you must also feel genuinely respected as someone whose case matters or consider looking elsewhere, regardless of the attorney’s success rate.

Examining Fee Structures

Wrongful death attorneys customarily charge a contingency fee for their services. In this type of billing, the client typically pays between 33% and 40% of their compensation for attorney’s services.

The lower end is usually charged when a case is resolved during relatively short settlements. The percentage increases, however, as a case drags on or complexities arise.

As you examine the fee structure of your potential choices, make sure to discuss any conditions or triggers that may cause the percentage to rise. For example, most attorneys raise the percentage they charge if settlements break down and the case moves into heavy litigation.

In every case, you should only choose from Miami lawyers who are clear, open, and upfront about their billing practices. 

FAQ

What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Florida has established a statute of limitations of two years for wrongful death lawsuits in the state. The clock commences its two-year countdown on the date of the death of the victim in question.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

In Florida, various surviving family members of a victim of wrongful death may benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit. However, only the personal representative of the deceased may initiate an actual lawsuit. When they file a lawsuit, they must list the names of the eligible family members who stand to benefit from the judgment.

What Wrongful Death Damages Are Available?

Damages available in wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Loss of support and services — current and future
  • Loss of companionship for surviving spouses
  • Loss of parental companionship
  • Mental pain and suffering
  • Loss of earnings for the decedent's estate

When a person is killed by intentional conduct or grossly negligent behavior, a personal representative may also seek punitive damages on top of compensatory damages.

Meet With the Best Miami Lawyers for Wrongful Death Today

At Ratzan Weissman & Boldt our wrongful death lawyers in Miami are ready to listen and help. Contact our office for a free consultation and take the next step toward the justice your loved one deserves.