Has a family member or close friend passed away in a drowning accident? Drowning is a tragic event that changes the lives of everyone involved. Each year in the United States there are anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 drownings.
A wrongful death lawyer in Brandon, Florida, can help you navigate the legal system and represent the best interest of your family after a death. Before you hire an attorney, you need to understand what to look for in counsel.
Read on to learn seven questions to ask a drowning accident attorney before you retain them!
1. Do You Have Experience Handling Drowning Cases?
Drowning cases are unique because they have many different moving parts revolving around negligence and wrongful death.
A wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the family of the deceased after death. The family pursues the case based upon the liability of the defendant for negligence leading up to the death.
The intricate nature of these cases means you need an attorney handling drowning accidents. Talk to prospective attorneys about their experience handling these matters before signing a retainer agreement!
2. What Are the Strengths of My Case?
Emotions of all parties will be running high after a drowning accident. The seriousness and finality of the situation will be starting to set in for the deceased’s family and the negligent parties involved.
You need to know the strengths of your case to understand how your case measures up to other factual situations. This will give you a better about what you can expect in a lawsuit and what your chances of success are.
3. What Are the Weaknesses of My Case?
It’s crucial for you and your family to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of your case. The best drowning death attorney in Brandon will speak with you about how the law applies to the facts of your case.
You want your attorney to give you a realistic idea of the facts working for and against you in your case. Although you may feel like the outcome in your case is clear-cut, it may not be so strong under Florida law.
4. Are You a Trial Firm?
There are more than 78,000 licensed attorneys in the State of Florida but only one law firm will be the right one for your case. Although it is rare for lawsuits to end with a trial, you need a wrongful death attorney in Brandon that is ready to try your case.
When you file a lawsuit against a defendant or a group of defendants, they need to know that you have hired a team of attorneys that is ready to try your case. This can help you during settlement negotiations as the other side weighs the pros and cons of going to trial.
5. Who Will Handle My Case?
A law firm is composed of a partner or group of partners and associate attorneys. Before you retain an attorney to represent your interests, you need to know who will be handling your file.
When you hire a drowning death attorney in Brandon, Florida that works in a small firm, this can work in your favor. That’s because only one or a small number of attorneys will be working on your file day-to-day.
Don’t hire a law firm to make your claims until you have a clear understanding of who will be the attorney(s) handling your case!
6. How Will You Bill Me?
The way you are billed during legal representation can have a big impact on how much you recover after your lawsuit is resolved. Don’t begin an attorney-client relationship until you speak with a prospective law firm about how they will charge for their services.
Many attorneys will charge you for their time based on an hourly billing rate. This means a lawyer will bill you for every minute that they are working on your file instead of another one.
During a wrongful death drowning lawsuit, it is more common to be billed under a contingency fee agreement. Generally speaking, this means your attorney will earn a percentage of what you recover. The percentage that a lawyer will receive is outlined in a contingency fee agreement. The amounts can vary based on when a claim is settled in the litigation process.
The Florida Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys set forth the amounts a lawyer may charge you for their legal services under a contingency fee arrangement.
7. What Is My Case Worth?
It’s important to remember that an attorney cannot make a guarantee about the outcome of your case as part of their representation. This means that even if an attorney has an idea of what you may recover, this figure is only an educated guess, not a certainty.
Speak with a prospective attorney about what he or she thinks your case is worth and why. Have they represented a plaintiff in a wrongful death or negligence action like yours? Are the parties you are suing ones that can pay if you are awarded a large judgment?
Learning the answer to these questions will give you a much clearer understanding of what you are getting into before you hire your attorney.
Hire The Best Drowning Accident Attorney
An experienced drowning accident attorney will guide you through the complicated process of making a wrongful death or negligence claim in your case. Before you start meeting with prospective attorneys, take some time to gather your thoughts and what is most important to you.
The death of a family member can leave a tremendous void in your life. Since there is so much pain and sorrow that surrounds a drowning death, you shouldn’t force yourself to hire an attorney before you are ready.
At Reed & Reed, we are a group of personal injury attorneys with experience handling wrongful death and drowning lawsuits. We have offices throughout Central Florida and are ready to speak with you about your case.
Contact us today to get a free case evaluation and learn more about our legal services!