How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

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If your loved one has died wrongfully at someone else’s hands, your family may need financial compensation to get some form of closure. Otherwise, you may not feel as if justice was done.

However, you must be prepared for a long process that can take a considerable amount of time. Along the way, there may be ups and downs. The one constant is that you can expect your wrongful death lawyer to fight for your family’s legal rights.

Contact Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney to start your case and help you proceed.

Factors With Wrongful Death Lawsuit Timing

Your lawyer will be unable to give you an exact timeframe for how long your case may take. The best estimate is somewhere between 1-3 years; unfortunately, we cannot be more specific.

The best thing that your lawyer can do is give you a detailed understanding of the steps that must happen for you to receive financial compensation.

The first step is hiring a wrongful death attorney to pursue your case for compensation. Your lawyer will learn more about your case and investigate the circumstances behind your loved one’s death. Before you can even file a lawsuit with the court, you will need to allege facts that will be sufficient for the court to allow the case to proceed. Your lawyer will help you put your best foot forward with your legal complaint.

Milestones in Your Lawsuit

The main time factor at play is that a lawsuit takes time to work its way through the legal system. Court systems have their own backlogs and schedules, and the judge in your case has a full docket. Each party is given time to prepare their case and gather evidence that can help them if the issues go in front of a jury.

The part of your lawsuit that will take the longest is the discovery phase of your case. Each party has the right to seek documents and other information in the other party’s possession.

Discovery can include the following:

  • Requests for documents and physical evidence
  • Requests for admissions
  • Interrogatories
  • Depositions, where you may take questions from the defendant’s lawyer for up to seven hours

Discovery often has its own disputes between you and the defendant that can force the judge to issue a ruling and add time to your case.

Eventually, the lawsuit will make its way to a jury if you do not settle the case first. It is rare for the lawsuit process to be entirely completed in less than a year, although some cases have been finished in about six months.

Even if you win your case in front of the jury, it does not necessarily mean the end. The defendant can appeal the verdict, which can add additional time to your case before you can actually get your money.

Both You and the Defendant File the Court’s Timelines

If you file a lawsuit, the insurance company then loses its ability to delay your case because it must follow the schedule that the court sets. You can expect settlement negotiations while the case is pending.

Insurance companies may be afraid for your case to reach the jury, especially in a wrongful death lawsuit. A sympathetic jury can award your family more money than you may have received in a settlement. If the insurance company squanders its chance to settle the case, its own policyholder may sue them if they are forced to pay money.

The only thing in your power that can help you speed up a wrongful death is to hire an attorney as soon as possible and provide them with help as they need it. Otherwise, you cannot speed the legal process in court, nor should you accept a settlement offer that does not fairly compensate you just to get money in your pocket. You should invest as much time as it takes for your family to get the money that it deserves.

Be Patient Because Wrongful Death Lawsuits Take Time

You should expect the wrongful death case to take a considerable amount of time from start to finish. It does not mean that you have any less of a strong case. It just means that the process builds in time, and nothing happens quickly in your case.

The most important thing is for your family to remain patient. An insurance company will size up its adversary (and that is exactly what you are to them) to see if they are a strong or weak hand. They can sense that a plaintiff is desperate to settle the case, and they will use it against you.

Let your lawyer do their job to get you the most money in your case. We understand that you would like closure, but unfortunately, it may not happen as quickly as you would like. If you are patient, the facts and the law will work for your family’s benefit when they are on your side.

Contact a Charleston Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Attorney Trey Harrell can help your family during this difficult time in a compassionate and straightforward manner. At the same time, you can be comforted in knowing that you have a fighter on your side to hold the responsible party legally responsible for what they did. For your family, the first thing to do is contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.

You can reach us online or call us at (843) 636-8739.

Wrongful Death Case FAQs

How do I win a wrongful death case?

You must prove that someone else was responsible for your loved one’s death through some wrongful action, whether it was negligence, intentional or reckless.

How much is my wrongful death case worth?

It all depends on what your family lost when your loved one died.

Do I need a wrongful death attorney?

The last thing you want to do is deal with legal matters on your own when your family is grieving. In addition, you do not have the legal experience necessary to maximize your financial compensation.

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