The Clarity Of Liability Determines Whether A Wrongful Death Case Will Go To Trial Or Not
Interviewer: How often do wrongful death cases go to court? Should someone expect there to be a fight?
Stephen Boutros: It depends on how clear the liability is. The damage in a death case is the most objective damage there is. The person is dead, they’re gone, their soul has left their body. Death is the most objective damage. There’s no argument like in some catastrophic injury cases where defense lawyers and their doctor say, “Oh, this person is going to get better or they’re not really suffering that bad”. So the fight on the death cases usually becomes over liability.
The Majority of Wrongful Death Cases are Very Hard to Value and Painful for the Claimant
Interviewer: Do cases differ with age if it’s a child compared to someone who’s maybe a senior citizen or elderly, even adult?
Stephen Boutros: That’s exactly the argument that insurance companies would make when a child that’s five days old dies, he’s not worth as much as the one that’s 5-year old, which is a greedy, evil argument that I don’t think normal people would pay heed to. If you’re the parent of a child that died after five days, that can be extremely painful and they say that it’s less painful because the child didn’t live 5-years and you didn’t know the child for 5-years, you only knew the child for five days. That’s a nonsensical and wicked argument. Your child is part of your flesh and blood. It’s the loss of life that’s related to you. That’s something that juries would have to consider. A lot of times, these cases are very hard to value and it’s painful.
Insurance Companies Try Their Level Best to Save As Much of their Money as Possible
Interviewer: Do a lot of people find it acceptable that insurance companies can put a price on life based on age or whatever?
Stephen Boutros: Those people are in business to keep their money and we’re in business to make sure that that money is distributed to victims of death and catastrophic injury.
The Qualities to Look for When Retaining An Attorney for a Wrongful Death Claim
Interviewer: What sort of qualities in an attorney do you think that someone should be looking for when it comes to wrongful deaths?
Stephen Boutros: First and foremost, you should never ever hire an attorney on a personal injury or wrongful death case who is not board certified and personal injury trial law. That’s like going to see a family doctor when you have a severe heart issue. You need to go see a specialist, the cardiologist. To hire an attorney who is not board certified in personal injury trial law is not wise because whether you hire me or another board certified lawyer. You need to hire someone who has been certified by the State Bar of Texas and is specialized in this area of law successfully.
It is Imperative to Hire a Board Certified Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Suit
To become board certified, you have to try the minimum number of jury trials; you have to have recommendations from defense lawyers and judges. Defense lawyers you tried cases against and judges you tried cases in front of so that you’ve established a level of competence and you have to pass a very difficult written board exam that in my estimation, was 3 times harder than the bar exam. 3 times more difficult than the bar exam. You should never hire a lawyer that’s not board certified.
Wrongful Death Cases Should be Handled with Sensitivity, Care and Legal Expertise
You should come and hire my firm, Stephen Boutros, LTD. I’ll handle a death case with the appropriate sensitivity, sincere care and legal expertise that people deserve when dealing with such a painful incident in their lives.