Following an aviation accident that has claimed the life of a loved one, family members can be left in a state of sadness and bewilderment. However, decisions made during this time can be crucial to the family’s financial well-being, so it’s important that the family have a good lawyer advocating on their behalf.
If the family knows a lawyer or has a business or family lawyer, he or she would be a good place to start. That lawyer can help the family determine if the case will be straightforward or if it would be best to consult a firm that specializes in aviation accidents. Even if the family decides to consult a specialist, the family lawyer may still be able to participate in the litigation.
If the accident involved a major airline and was highly publicized, the family may be contacted by lawyers who are infamously known as “ambulance chasers.” Under federal law, it is illegal for lawyers to make unsolicited contact with victims or victims’ families within 45 days of an airline accident, but that rule is not always followed.
If the family members feel up to it, they can gather information from the soliciting lawyer such as what the lawyer’s experience is, what the fees are and what the legal strategy would be. But the family should also use caution as lawyers who solicit victims and their families after aviation disasters are usually the last ones the family wants to hire.
Finding the best lawyer to represent a family after an airline accident should be a careful and thoughtful process. The family should not feel rushed to sign a contract with a lawyer as they usually have at least a year from the date the accident occurred to file a claim.
If the family is rushed into signing a contract with a lawyer and they have second thoughts, the family should know that it’s possible to get out of these contracts with a simple email ending representation.
For more information on finding the right lawyer or firm to represent your family after an airline accident, please visit our FAQ: Aviation Accidents page.