Losing a loved one is an incredibly painful and emotional experience. When their death is caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party, it can be even more devastating.

In such situations, a wrongful death lawyer can provide the legal assistance and emotional support needed to seek justice for the deceased and their family. But, what exactly does a wrongful death lawyer do? Let’s explore their roles and responsibilities in depth.

The Role of a Wrongful Death Lawyer

Investigating the Case

A wrongful death lawyer begins by conducting a thorough investigation of the case. They’ll review the circumstances surrounding the death, interview witnesses, and gather any relevant documentation or evidence. This is a critical step in determining if there’s a viable wrongful death claim and identifying the responsible parties.

Gathering Evidence

Once a viable claim has been identified, the lawyer will gather evidence to support it. This may include medical records, accident reports, expert testimonies, and any other information necessary to establish negligence or wrongdoing. The evidence gathered will be crucial in proving liability and securing fair compensation for the family.

Calculating Damages

After establishing liability, a wrongful death lawyer will calculate the damages owed to the family. Damages may include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, loss of consortium, and emotional pain and suffering. The lawyer will use their expertise to ensure that all damages are accurately accounted for and that the family is fairly compensated. View example wrongful death settlements from GJEL.

Negotiating Settlements

In many cases, wrongful death claims are settled out of court. A wrongful death lawyer will negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company or legal representatives to reach a fair and just settlement. They’ll use their knowledge of the law and the evidence gathered to advocate for the family’s best interests.

Representing Clients in Court

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a wrongful death lawyer will represent the family in court. They’ll present the evidence, argue the case, and work diligently to obtain a favorable verdict on behalf of their clients.

The Importance of a Wrongful Death Lawyer

Navigating Complex Legal Matters

Wrongful death cases can be complicated, and navigating the legal system can be overwhelming for grieving families. A wrongful death lawyer has the expertise and knowledge to guide families through the legal process, ensuring they fully understand their rights and options.

Emotional Support and Guidance

In addition to providing legal assistance, a wrongful death lawyer offers emotional support and guidance to families during this difficult time. They understand the emotional turmoil their clients are experiencing and can provide a compassionate and empathetic approach to help them cope with their loss.

Ensuring Fair Compensation

A wrongful death lawyer will fight tirelessly to ensure that the family receives fair compensation for their loss. They understand the financial strain and emotional hardship that losing a loved one can cause and will work to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

How to Choose the Right Wrongful Death Lawyer

Experience and Track Record

When searching for a wrongful death lawyer, it’s essential to consider their experience and track record in handling similar cases. An experienced lawyer will have a better understanding of the legal complexities involved and be better equipped to secure a favorable outcome for your case.

Communication Skills

Good communication is vital in any attorney-client relationship. Choose a wrongful death lawyer who is open, transparent, and keeps you updated on the progress of your case. They should be able to explain complex legal matters in a way that you can easily understand.

Empathy and Compassion

As mentioned earlier, a wrongful death lawyer should be empathetic and compassionate, understanding the emotional turmoil you’re going through. They should be able to offer support and guidance throughout the legal process, ensuring that your emotional well-being is taken into consideration.


A wrongful death lawyer plays a critical role in helping families seek justice and compensation for the loss of their loved ones due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. They investigate the case, gather evidence, calculate damages, negotiate settlements, and represent clients in court. They also provide emotional support and guidance to help families navigate the complex legal process. When choosing a wrongful death lawyer, it’s essential to consider their experience, communication skills, and empathy to ensure you have the best possible representation during this challenging time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action brought against a party responsible for the death of another person due to negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. The purpose of the claim is to seek compensation for the deceased’s family for their loss.

Read about the elements of a successful wrongful death claim here.

2. Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Typically, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, or parents. In some cases, other family members or dependents may be eligible to file a claim. Consult with a wrongful death lawyer to determine if you’re eligible to pursue a claim.

3. How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

The time limit for filing a wrongful death claim, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state. It’s crucial to consult with a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss the filing deadline.

4. How much does it cost to hire a wrongful death lawyer?

Many wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. In such cases, the lawyer’s fees are typically a percentage of the recovered amount. Be sure to discuss fees and payment arrangements with any lawyer you consider hiring. Find out if you need money to hire a personal injury lawyer here.

5. Can I still pursue a wrongful death claim if the responsible party is facing criminal charges?

Yes, a wrongful death claim is a separate civil action from any criminal proceedings. Even if the responsible party is facing criminal charges, you can still pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for your loss.

Locations Near You

Do you need to talk to a wrongful death attorney? Call GJEL today for a free, no-obligation case review now or visit one of our Northern California offices.

Our attorneys have offices throughout Northern California. You can call or stop by.

  1. Antioch Wrongful Death Office
  2. San Jose Wrongful Death Office
  3. San Francisco Wrongful Death Office
  4. Oakland Wrongful Death Office
  5. Stockton Wrongful Death Law Office
  6. Fresno Wrongful Death Law Office
  7. Concord Wrongful Death Lawyers