Top El Reno, OK Wrongful Death Lawyers Near You

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Was Your Loved One a Victim of Wrongful Death?

When a person or legal entity causes of the death of another person, due to their negligence or wrongdoing, the act is called “wrongful death” under the law. The family of the deceased may have a legal ability, called standing, to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and potentially receive monetary compensation for being deprived of the deceased’s company, companionship, and earning capacity.

Wrongful Death Cases

Many steps are involved to prepare the lawsuit and develop a strategy for trial, so the expertise of an El Reno attorney who handles wrongful death cases is essential. Obtaining proof requires investigation of the incident that caused the death to develop witnesses and evidence to prove the defendant was in whole or in part responsible for the death.

Who is entitled to wrongful death compensation?

In every state, a victim’s spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit, as are parents of any child victims. However, other laws vary, such as whether an adult child can file a lawsuit on behalf of a parent or whether other relatives like siblings count as next of kin.

How are wrongful death settlements paid out?

The methods that settlements are paid out can be negotiated with the defense. These can include lump-sum payments or installment payments. The money can also be placed in trust if the beneficiaries are children.

How long does it take to settle wrongful death claims?

This depends on the nature of each case. While some cases may have overwhelming evidence and a defense that is eager to settle, other cases require extensive negotiations and investigation of the evidence. A case with a lot of compensation on the line can take years to settle or reach a verdict. An attorney can help set proper expectations for the process.

How long do you have to sue for wrongful death?

Each state has a statute of limitations, with the majority being two or three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, when the clock starts ticking is also different in many state laws. You should talk with an attorney as quickly as possible, so you do not lose your right to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Best Time to Seek Legal Help

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

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