Family Law

What To Do When Looking For A Wrongful Death Attorney

The sudden loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct is a devastating experience. Navigating the legal process of a wrongful death claim can be overwhelming during such a difficult time. Hiring the right wrongful death attorney can make a significant difference in achieving justice and securing the compensation your family deserves. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do when looking for a wrongful death attorney.


Understand Your Needs

Before you start your search, it’s essential to understand your specific needs and the details of your case. Consider the following:

Type of Incident

Identify the nature of the incident that led to your loved one’s death. Different wrongful death attorneys specialize in various types of cases, such as medical malpractice, car accidents, workplace accidents, or defective products. Knowing the specific type of incident will help you find lawyers with relevant experience.

Legal Issues

Understand the key legal issues involved in your case, such as proving negligence, establishing liability, and calculating potential compensation. This will help you communicate effectively with potential lawyers and understand their strategies for your case.

Desired Outcome

Clarify your goals and expectations for the case, including the compensation you hope to receive and any other outcomes you desire, such as holding the responsible party accountable or promoting safety improvements.

Start Your Search

Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, you can begin your search for a wrongful death attorney. Here are some effective ways to find potential lawyers:

Online Resources

Use online directories, legal websites, and search engines to find wrongful death attorneys in your area. Websites like Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, and the American Bar Association’s lawyer referral service can provide valuable information about lawyers’ credentials, areas of practice, and client reviews.


Seek recommendations from friends, family members, or colleagues who have had positive experiences with wrongful death attorneys. Personal referrals can provide insights into a lawyer’s communication style, professionalism, and effectiveness.

Local Bar Associations

Local bar associations often provide directories and referral services to help you find qualified wrongful death attorneys in your area. These organizations can also confirm whether a lawyer is in good standing and has no disciplinary actions against them.

Evaluate Potential Lawyers

Once you have a list of potential lawyers, it’s time to evaluate their qualifications and suitability for your case. Consider the following factors:


Look for a lawyer with significant experience in handling wrongful death cases similar to yours. Experienced lawyers are more likely to understand the nuances of your case and have established relationships with local courts and insurance companies.

Track Record

Review the lawyer’s case results and success rate in obtaining favorable outcomes for clients. Look for settlements and verdicts that demonstrate their ability to secure substantial compensation for their clients.


Check the lawyer’s education, certifications, and affiliations with relevant legal organizations. Membership in professional organizations, such as the American Association for Justice, can indicate a lawyer’s commitment to staying informed about developments in wrongful death law.

Client Reviews

Read client testimonials and reviews to gauge the lawyer’s reputation and client satisfaction. Positive reviews can provide confidence in the lawyer’s ability to handle your case effectively.

Schedule Consultations

Most wrongful death attorneys offer free initial consultations. Take advantage of these meetings to assess the lawyer’s suitability for your case. During the consultation:

Discuss Your Case

Provide details about the incident, how it occurred, and the impact it has had on your family. Be honest and thorough in your description to help the lawyer understand the complexities of your case.

Ask Questions

Prepare a list of questions to ask potential lawyers, such as:

  • How many wrongful death cases have you handled?
  • What is your experience with cases similar to mine?
  • What is your strategy for my case?
  • What are the potential challenges, and how will you address them?
  • What is your fee structure, and are there any additional costs?

Assess Compatibility

Evaluate whether you feel comfortable working with the lawyer and confident in their abilities. Consider their communication style, responsiveness, and willingness to answer your questions. A good lawyer should be approachable, empathetic, and able to explain legal concepts in a way that you understand.

Consider Communication and Accessibility

Effective communication is essential throughout your case. Consider the lawyer’s:


Assess how promptly they respond to your inquiries and concerns. Timely communication is crucial for staying informed about the progress of your case and making informed decisions.


Determine how accessible the lawyer will be throughout the duration of your case. Will you have direct access to them, or will most of your interactions be with their staff? Ensure that you are comfortable with the level of access provided.

Discuss Fees and Payment Structure

Before hiring a Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer, discuss their fee structure and payment terms. Most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only collect fees if they win your case. The fee is typically a percentage of the compensation recovered. Inquire about:

Contingency Fee Percentage

Understand the percentage of your settlement or award that the lawyer will take as their fee. This percentage can vary, so it’s essential to clarify this upfront.

Additional Costs

Ask about any additional costs or expenses related to your case, such as court fees, expert witness fees, and administrative expenses. Ensure you understand how these costs will be handled and whether they will be deducted from your compensation.

Review the Retainer Agreement

If you decide to hire a lawyer, carefully review and sign a retainer agreement. This agreement should outline:

Scope of Representation

Ensure the agreement clearly outlines the lawyer’s responsibilities and the services they will provide.

Fee Agreement

Review the contingency fee percentage or any other fee arrangements specified in the agreement.

Terms and Conditions

Understand the terms and conditions of the agreement, including how disputes will be resolved and termination of the lawyer-client relationship.

Monitor Your Case Progress

After hiring a lawyer, stay actively involved in your case. Regularly communicate with your lawyer to stay informed about the progress and any developments. Provide any requested information promptly and attend all necessary meetings and appointments. Your active participation can contribute to a positive outcome.


Finding the right wrongful death attorney requires careful research, evaluation of credentials, and open communication. By understanding your needs, thoroughly researching potential lawyers, and asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision that best serves your legal needs. A skilled wrongful death attorney will not only advocate for your rights but also provide valuable guidance and support throughout the legal process, helping you achieve a favorable outcome for your case.

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