After you lose someone due to another person’s negligence, your life may feel completely different. Losing a loved one is a painful and difficult experience in itself, not to mention the resulting financial burdens placed upon you without their help. These burdens should belong to the responsible party, not to you and your family. Pursuing a wrongful death action could result in a settlement with the liable party to resolve the case and help you move forward in your life.
Roswell wrongful death settlements may make a major difference in your life. You might avoid the need for a trial and the stress that comes with it. Securing an appropriate settlement is often difficult without legal guidance, which is why an experienced wrongful death attorney is ready to help.
What is a Settlement?
A settlement in a wrongful death case is an agreed upon amount between the surviving family members and the liable party that will be paid for the claim. Once both parties agree to the amount, the case will end instead of proceeding to trial.
Most settlements are made official through a settlement agreement. This is a legal contract both parties enter into that evidences the agreement, the amount to be paid, and all other relevant details of the agreement. Settlement agreements often use confusing legal jargon which is why it could be beneficial to hire an attorney with the skills to fully understand and negotiate.
Why a Family Might Settle a Wrongful Death Case
There are several reasons the surviving family member or members may choose to settle a wrongful death case in Roswell rather than take it to trial. Trials can be expensive and time-consuming. They are also often stressful, even when the case seems clear-cut. Additionally, a settlement may save both parties money by reducing court costs and fees.
The family may also choose to settle if the liable person admits responsibility and offers an appropriate settlement amount. A proper settlement amount is key when determining whether to accept or reject a settlement offer. Many defendants and their insurance companies will first attempt to offer a low settlement to save money. This is especially true when a case involves unrepresented family members who may feel pressure to accept a settlement.
With a well-practiced wrongful death attorney by their side, family members can fully understand their rights and the potential value of their claim. This may help avoid an issue where a low settlement is accepted when a much higher value was appropriate.
Distribution of Settlement Assets
State wrongful death law, codified in Georgia Code § 51-4-2, decides who may file the claim and what happens to the proceeds of a successful case or settlement in Roswell. Typically, proceed distribution will occur as follows:
- If there is a surviving spouse with no children, the spouse will take the entire settlement
- If there is a surviving spouse with children, the spouse will take one-third of the amount, and the children will split what remains
- If surviving parents exist without a spouse or children of the decedent, the surviving parents will split the amount equally
When additional family members are involved, or in other unique situations, this distribution can change. To fully understand how this would work in a particular case, the family should speak with a licensed professional.
Get Help with Wrongful Death Settlements in Roswell
The choice to settle or proceed with the trial is one that should be made after a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney. Your attorney could ascertain the potential value of your case to help you make this important decision.
Roswell wrongful death settlements may help make a major difference in your life following a tragedy. Contact an experienced lawyer for help now.