This is a question we get asked often: “Should I hire a wrongful death lawyer near me?”. The answer is: It depends.

Having to hire an attorney for any matter can be stressful for those who have not had to deal with the legal system before. This complicates the matter and can cause some people to hire a local attorney near them based only on the fact that they are local.

The problem with this approach is that it leaves out several important elements that might effect the outcome or settlement of your case. So instead of hiring a wrongful death attorney based only on the fact that they are local or were referred to you, you should ask the questions we’ve outlined below:

Questions to Ask a Wrongful Death Attorney

In this section of the article we will cover questions you should ask along with the answers we would give so that you can choose the best attorney for your case.

What experience do you have in handling wrongful death cases?

At GJEL we have been California wrongful death attorneys since 1972. While we haven’t seen it all, we have seen a lot when it comes to personal injury cases. We have committed our firm to getting the best results for clients and it’s why we have a 99% success rate and have recovered over $950,000,000 for our clients. Typically smaller firms have not seen case results like we have gotten for our clients and while our past results do NOT indicate the potential result for future cases, it does indicate that we always put clients first and work hard on every single case.

Can you provide references from clients you have helped in similar cases? What did they think about your services?

Any attorney you speak with should be able to provide you with references. They should also be able to discuss past cases where confidentiality agreements allow them to. Talking to past clients can provide peace of mind.

How do you determine the amount of compensation that should be sought in a wrongful death case?

The facts of each case differ but any wrongful death attorney you speak with should be able to discuss this in great detail. In California there are several avenues we can explore to maximize your compensation.

What are the potential challenges or obstacles that may arise during the legal process, and how do you address them?

This question is a bit of a curve ball, but also on purpose. By asking any attorney this question you will get an idea of their past experience and how they handle cases.

What is your fee structure, and how do you handle payment?

Most accident and injury attorneys handle payment on a contingency fee basis. This means that the law firm takes all of the risk on winning your case. It gives them skin in the game and they don’t get paid unless and until they win your case. If they lose your case then it’s no loss to you. This ensures the attorney is always working on your behalf. Typical California contingency fees are around 40% and that includes all of the costs of your case from start to finish. Do not work with an attorney who charges an hourly rate for a personal injury case as the risk will fall on you.

How often will you update me on the progress of the case?

Unfortunately, PI cases can take months or years to resolve. Having a great relationship with your attorney and regular check in’s will help soften the burden of the entire process.

On that note, make sure you actually LIKE talking to your attorney. Some lawyers are rough around the edges which does not help during an already difficult process.

Do you have experience going to trial in wrongful death cases, and if so, what is your success rate?

This is the biggest problem we see when people hire a local personal injury attorney near them. They are either a general practice attorney or have not gotten strong past results. This comes with experience and dedication to clients and it should not be taken likely. An attorney who is well versed in a geographic area and has handled many cases before can really help maximize your settlement.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in my state, and how does it affect my case?

In California that is generally two years from the date of the accident. Time is of the essence and you should file your wrongful death lawsuit right away.

If you suspect that you may have a wrongful death case, don’t hesitate to take action. Contact GJEL Accident Attorneys, a California wrongful death law firm with years of experience helping families like yours seek justice and compensation for their losses. Our compassionate and skilled attorneys will guide you through every step of the legal process, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward getting the help you need.

We have lawyers throughout Northern California. Check out our local offices near you below:

Local Wrongful Death Attorneys Near You

San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawyers

Stockton Wrongful Death Lawyers

Oakland Wrongful Death Lawyers

San Jose Wrongful Death Lawyers

Berkeley Wrongful Death Lawyers

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Andy Gillin

Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Andy is a highly recognized wrongful death lawyer in California.