When a loved one has died from an accident that was caused by someone else, you, as the survivor, have the right to seek compensation for their loss and any hardships you face because of it. Children, parents, spouses and other family members can seek to recover damages based on their relationship with the deceased. If you were dependent on the deceased in any way, financially or emotionally, you have this right. Unfortunately, coming to a settlement can take time and patience. Here’s how long you can expect your case to last, and other important factors regarding wrongful death lawsuits.
Average Settlement Times
Every single case and settlement is different. Some lawsuits quickly wrap up in the span of just a few months. More than likely, however, they drag out for several years. The more money that is involved in the case, the more an insurance company will fight to pay the least amount possible. Questions of negligence can also create muddled claims as to who is liable. In some cases, more than one party may be responsible for the death, and each of these needs to be dealt with to get the most out of the claim.
The plaintiff is the person who is bringing the lawsuit against someone else (known as the defendant). Plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit can be anyone who relied on the person who has died. Parents may make a claim if their child or fetus has passed away. Minors can claim if a parent dies, leaving them without guidance, counsel, comfort, love, care, inheritance, and financial support. Spouses can claim based on their loss of companionship and consortium. Since they are no longer dependents, adult children usually cannot claim for their parents, and parents cannot claim for their adult children.
Wrongful Death Lawyers
One of the greatest problems in wrongful death cases is plaintiffs getting blatantly taken advantage of by insurance companies. In an effort to rid themselves of the case swiftly, an insurance company may offer you an initial settlement rate that is far lower than what you deserve. This is in an attempt to close the case, pay you the least amount possible, and take advantage of survivors who may feel the weight of debt. Instead of jumping on board with their low settlement offer, discuss your situation with a wrongful death lawyer, like from Johnston Martineau, LLP, who deals with these kinds of cases. They can help you understand exactly how much your case is worth and fight for your rights to that compensation.