Wrongful death lawsuits are based on the death of a person, caused by the negligence or improper action of another person or company. The most common types involve different kinds of accidents but also medical malpractice and product liability. This type of lawsuit can be complicated and often it takes a lot of time to get a result. and wrongful death lawsuit

Stages of the lawsuit

In order to have a claim a person will have to be related to the victim of an accident, and his death must have caused some sort of financial losses. The first thing the surviving relative needs to do is to contact a wrongful death attorney to evaluate the case and to discuss the legal options.

The plaintiff’s attorney can try to settle the case without a trial, by demanding damages from the defendant. If that procedure is not successful he can file a complaint beginning the actual lawsuit. The defendant has between 20 to 30 days to offer a legal answer and to try to have the case dismissed.

After the lawsuit is filled and before the case is set for trial, the attorneys of both sides can bring legal arguments, motions, concerning the fact that one party is entitled to win the case without a trial. Attorneys will also meet with a judge who advises them to work out a settlement. If that does not lead to a solution, the lawsuit will be set for trial before a judge or a jury.

During the trial both parties will present witnesses, evidence and make legal arguments. At the end of this process the judge or the jury will enter a verdict and establish the amount of compensation. If one of the parties considers that there was a significant legal error, he can make an appeal.

The wrongful death lawsuit is finished when an appeal is completed or when the time for appeals has run out. The plaintiff will collect the damages only after that.

Practical advice

Many people might feel overwhelmed after losing someone close in a preventable accident, and might not be interested in the beginning in a long term lawsuit. However, if the insurance company does not offer the proper amount of compensation according to the deceased life insurance, a long court battle is still preferable than suffering financial losses additional to the emotional ones.