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What to Think About When Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer

By : Patrick C. Barry - Feb 14th, 2017

The unexpected death of a loved one is always a traumatic event.  When that death may be due to the carelessness of another person, however, the trauma is even more severe. This area of civil litigation is known generally as “wrongful death.”  The effects on the surviving family can cause unparalleled turmoil.  The central question is one I often hear from clients – How do we even begin to put our lives back together?

The answer is relatively simple – Get the best help.  You can find that help in a number of ways and places, such as friends and other vital supports, which must address a number of different areas.  Solutions to financial, emotional and practical day-to-day concerns can be found by reaching out and seeking help from those around you.wrongful death

If you believe that a loved one may have been the victim of another person’s negligence, one thing you must consider is contacting a lawyer.  The unfortunate reality is that negligent or drunk drivers, careless medical providers, defective products, and unsafe conditions at worksites and other places of business needlessly claim hundreds of thousands of American lives every year.  Many statistical studies have shown this – in fact, two well-known medical studies have concluded that from 250,000 to 400,000 deaths from avoidable medical errors – per year – occur within our nation’s hospitals.  That is only one small slice of the overall number of needless early deaths in this country.  Thankfully, the American civil justice system recognizes that both compensation and accountability are important for a healthy society, and our laws allow family members to seek compensation and accountability for wrongful deaths.

Finding a good lawyer to investigate such a potential claim is important.  Here are some tips to consider during your search:

  • You should be looking for a lawyer that has extensive knowledge and experience in this area.
  • Research the background, experience and expertise of lawyers in this area.
  • Consider whether the lawyer has the financial and staffing resources to pursue such a claim.
  • Interview with the lawyer, and ensure that the firm will work on a contingent fee basis and will advance all of the case expenses at no charge to you unless successful, as we do here at Decof, Decof & Barry.
  • Make sure that you are personally comfortable with the lawyer and with their commitment to your case. Such an undertaking can take years, and you should feel supremely confident in your attorney’s ability.

I have been handling wrongful death cases, arising from all kinds of events, for twenty years.  In 2010, I strongly advocated publically – and successfully – for an important change in the Rhode Island laws to recognize a broader group of family members that can pursue such claims.  I have successfully taken many wrongful death cases to trial, and I have taught numerous legal seminars to lawyers across the state on this area of the law.

Finally, recognize that a lawyer offers the best chance of getting real answers about what happened, and why.  It may even result in significant compensation to replace important income, or other support and comfort provided by a spouse, parent or child.  This can allow you to get back to the other important areas of your life that need rebuilding.  Asking a lawyer to assist you with a thorough investigation will allow you to know that you did everything you could.

If you are faced with this unfortunate situation, feel free to contact the attorneys at Decof, Decof & Barry, P.C. to discuss your case.  We have decades of experience reaching successful results for injured persons and their families.

Patrick C. Barry

Patrick Barry is an accomplished trial lawyer and public safety advocate. He is a past President of the Rhode Island Association for Justice, an organization of approximately 400 civil justice lawyers, and a former Governor of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Barry also served as a public member of the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline, the licensing board for all physicians in the state, from 2005 to 2013. Read full bio.
Feb 14th, 2017|