Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Common Misconceptions About Wrongful Death Litigation

Making the decision to seek legal help after a loved one has passed can be difficult. In your emotional state, your judgment may even be cloudy. Before pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, you should be aware of the following misconceptions:

  • I can handle this myself and do not need a lawyer
Wrongful death lawsuits can be extremely complex. Given your emotional state, you should not attempt litigation without a lawyer. Wrongful death lawyers are trained professionals with significant knowledge and experience in this area.

  • I have plenty of time and will take legal action later
Under the statute of limitations you have a limited amount of time in which you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Once this time period expires, you can no longer take legal action.

  • My insurance company is going to help me
Do not rely on your insurance company to relieve you of the financial burden caused by a wrongful death. Your insurance company does not want to give you any more than they have to. They are likely to pay the least amount possible.

  • Hiring an attorney means I will have a long trial
Every case is different. Some cases are long and some are short—and not all cases go to trial. In fact, many cases are settled outside of court. An experienced lawyer can determine how long your trial might take.

  • Any relative can file a lawsuit
In most states, only immediate family members can file wrongful death lawsuits.

  • I cannot afford an attorney
Many wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that your attorney does not get paid unless you are paid.

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