1. Look for a certain success rate. Your attorney should have a solid history of large settlements and jury verdicts in fatal cases.
2. Since the laws on wrongful death actions vary greatly from state to state, make sure to choose an attorney who has at least 10 years of experience handling these cases in the state of Illinois.
3. Wrongful death cases vary in scope and type. So, if you lost your loved one due to a medical mistake or mishap, then your attorney should have tried many wrongful death claims specifically involving medical malpractice. In other words, your attorney should have a proven track record in the exact type of wrongful death claim that you are pursuing.
4. Since fatal lawsuit actions often require the use of costly expert witnesses and other expenses, find an attorney at a financially stable firm that sustain all of the associated fees and expenses during the litigation of your case.
5. It takes hard work to win a case at trial. There are a great deal of hours, research and preparation involved. Sometimes, it might seem easier to settle for a lesser amount. Make sure your attorney is part of a firm that has a reputation for being willing to take a case to trial rather than settle for lesser amount.
6. Make sure your case is not a training ground for a young associate at a law firm. In other words, you may meet with an experienced partner at the firm in the initial meeting but your case may actually be handled by a younger, less experienced attorney. It is okay to insist that the person you hire is the person who will handle your case.
7. Death cases are particularly sensitive by nature. Your attorney should treat all of his or her clients’ emotional situations with the utmost respect. Because the pursuit of a wrongful death action can be an emotional and often anxious process, your attorney should be sensitive to this and keep you up to speed on any developments or other details regarding the case.
8. Your attorney should not act without consulting you first. When faced with a decision during the course of the litigation, he or she should consider both your economic and emotional situation and discuss and weigh the options with you before acting.
9. Your attorney works for you. As with respecting your emotional situation and consulting you before making decisions, your attorney should also make time for you. There should be a degree of customer service when it comes to taking your phone calls, answering questions and explaining things in plain English.
10. Personal injury attorneys’ work on a contingency basis, which means that they do not get paid unless you recover something. Their payment is a certain percentage of your recovery. Oftentimes, it is one-third of the recovery.