Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What are the important questions to ask my attorney before hiring him?

What are the important questions to ask my attorney before hiring him?  A Phoenix personal injury lawyer should be able to answer these questions:

Question:  Have you handled previous wrongful death cases? 

If the attorney has not, you may want to look elsewhere.  Wrongful death cases are complex, and the legal issues involved can be quite specific. This is an important decision.  Make sure that the attorney you hire is experienced in handling wrongful death cases.    

Question:  Are you willing to take my case to trial, if needed? 

OK. No one wants to go to trial.  Everyone wants to settle.  However, there are times that it is necessary to take a case into litigation, and, to trial.  Is your attorney prepared?  Has he/she tried cases? Has he/she ever tried a wrongful death case?  Experience counts.  Experience allows a wrongful death attorney in Arizona to handle all aspects of your case.  The insurance companies keep records of attorneys who litigate, and those that do not.  Offers of settlement can depend widely on the experience and reputation of your attorney. 

Question:  Are you a Certified Specialist?    

Is your attorney an Arizona certified specialist in personal injury and wrongful death law?  If so, he/she is in the top 1% of attorneys practicing in this area of law in the state of Arizona.  He has the respect of the judges; he has the respect of opposing attorneys, and he has the respect of his peers.  He could not have become a certified specialist without the endorsement of these other professionals, not without extensive trial experience.  Find a wrongful death attorney Arizona who is a certified specialist in personal injury and wrongful law who has the appropriate experience in wrongful death to help you understand the road ahead.  Find a certified specialist who will help you get the answers and recovery to which you are entitled. 

Question:  Do you know the Arizona wrongful death laws?

This is pretty basic.  If your attorney cannot tell you the difference between a wrongful death claim vs. other types of claims, look elsewhere.  If he cannot tell you the different limitations periods depending upon who the responsible party is, look elsewhere.  If he cannot tell you the limited class of persons who can bring a claim for wrongful death, look elsewhere.  Time is of the essence.  It is important to contact an experienced attorney to know whether you can bring an action for wrongful death.  These procedural steps are extremely important and, if not properly followed, can bar your claim for recovery. 

Question:  Do you know what types of damages are available?

Can I be compensated for pain and suffering?  Can I receive the compensation for  pain and suffering that the deceased experienced before death?  Are the medical bills part of the claim?  What about the lost wages of the deceased?  Can I recover for the value of the  household chores that the deceased would have performed, which I now must hire out?  What other damages can I recover?  The first distinction a wrongful death attorney in Arizona should point out is that some damages apply to all wrongful death actions whereas some damages are unique to the circumstances.  These distinctions apply to the relation of the party and the type of action involved.  It is important to hire an experienced wrongful death attorney Arizona who can answer these questions and any others you may have. 

If a loved one has been prematurely taken from you because of another’s negligence, look for experience, look for a proven trial lawyer, and find a certified specialist in persona injury law who has the appropriate experience in wrongful death to help you understand the road ahead.  Find a respected Arizona attorney who will help you get the answers and recovery to which you are entitled.