A wrongful death case occurs when a person passes due to an intentional or negligent act by an entity, like a manufacturer or another person, and the survivors file a lawsuit. In wrongful death lawsuits, the filers seek compensation for their loss to cover various damages like funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and lost wages from the deceased. Every state in the country permits wrongful death claims. They can be pursued by a victim’s loved ones following fatal accidents such as car accidents and product liabilities.
Length of a Wrongful Death Case
On average, a wrongful death case takes two to four years, ending in either a settlement or outcome of the court trial. It takes at least one year to obtain all the necessary documentation issued before filing a lawsuit. Once the suit is filed, it can take between 18 months to two years to start the process in the court system. Altogether, it could take two to four years from the day someone becomes deceased to reach a final verdict in a wrongful death claim.
What Slows Down a Wrongful Death Case?
Some factors that affect how drawn-out a wrongful death lawsuit might be are how long the parties take to reach a settlement or whether the case goes to trial. If the negligent party admits fault and settles for a certain amount, the case will most likely end quickly; however, if fault is disputed and/or parties cannot agree upon a settlement amount, the case will go to trial.
Another element to consider is how long the discovery process lasts. Discovery is the process where both sides obtain evidence from witnesses and footage. Once both parties complete the discovery process, the case can proceed to trial, though sometimes scheduling these cases can take a couple of months and even up to a year. One final factor that could slow down the process is whether any criminal cases are pending. For example, if a criminal case is pending, lawyers will wait for the criminal case to finish before proceeding to the civil case.
Work with an Attorney to Expedite a Wrongful Death Case
Coping with the wrongful death of a loved one can be an emotionally distressing time. Add in all of the legal and financial stress, and it can be too much for one person to handle alone. Working with a skilled wrongful death attorney could expedite the process and eliminate your burden. Our compassionate lawyers understand how challenging it is to pursue a claim while processing the loss of a loved one, and could work tirelessly on your behalf to attain the compensation you deserve. Contact Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC today for a consultation with a qualified professional.