When clients speak to us about a wrongful death claim for the first time, their initial questions may focus on both money and time. They want to know how much money they can receive and how long it will take them.
These are difficult questions to answer with an exact timeframe or amount when we are first asked them. When it comes to time, the best we can offer is that wrongful death settlements do not happen quickly, and you should be patient. To learn more about your family’s legal rights, contact the California wrongful death attorneys at the One Law Group today.
The Time a Wrongful Death Case Takes to Settle
Wrongful death compensation for your family will take some time. If you are eligible for financial compensation, our best estimate is that it will take between one and two years to settle. Some cases may settle more quickly, especially when there is little question about liability, and the insurance company knows that it needs to pay the policy maximum. However, other cases may take longer, especially when they need to go through the entire legal process.
The Steps in the Wrongful Death Claims Process
What follows are the steps to receive financial compensation in a wrongful death claim:
- You begin the legal process by hiring an attorney to represent you. Never try to handle a wrongful death claim on your own.
- Your attorney will investigate the circumstances behind your loved one’s death and gather the proof necessary to show that someone else was responsible.
- You file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company or a lawsuit against them in court.
- Your attorney may negotiate a potential settlement with the insurance company
- If there is no settlement agreement, you will need to try your case in court (and the defendant may appeal a verdict if they lose, adding additional time).
The Insurance Company Often Drags Out the Settlement
The insurance company is most often not in a hurry when you have filed a wrongful death claim. Their belief is that time is on their side, and they can wear you down. They know that you want money and closure, and they will use it as leverage against you.
Even if you have the necessary proof that someone else should be liable, it may still take a considerable amount of time to settle your case. The insurance company may not even respond until months after you make a claim, even though they are under a legal obligation to respond within a reasonable amount of time.
Take the Time Necessary to Get the Best Wrongful Death Settlement
If you are too focused on speed, you may leave a considerable amount of money on the table. The insurance company will not give you anything quickly, and it takes time to negotiate with them.
You should never take the first offer on the table because it is only just the opening of negotiations. You may even need to reject the second and third offers if they are not enough to compensate your family fully. It is understandable that you may want to get money quickly and close the book on the wrongful death as best as you can. However, patience while your lawyer is doing their job will only benefit your family.
In a wrongful death case, there are many factors that are outside your control. The insurance company can make your life much more difficult. The bigger the potential claim, the more barriers they will try to put in your way. You cannot control how the insurance company will treat your claim and the problems they may cause for you.
Going to Court Can Make Your Case Take Longer
The biggest potential delay is when you need to take your case to trial. Your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit immediately. Alternatively, you may sue the defendant after insurance settlement negotiations have failed. While many wrongful death cases will settle before they reach trial, you should be prepared to take your case all the way to a jury if it is necessary.
There are not many things that you can control in a wrongful death claim. The most important steps to possibly speed up your claim involve your lawyer. You should get legal help as soon as possible after the wrongful death and work closely with your lawyer throughout the process. Always be available when your lawyer needs to speak with you to help keep the process moving.
Wrongful Death Claims Are Difficult but Necessary
It is understandably difficult for your family to file a wrongful death claim, both because it is stressful and because you may need to relive unpleasant details. However, the entire process is necessary for your family to get financial compensation. Receiving a settlement check can help your family on the road to closure.
Contact a California Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
The One Law Group are the tenacious and dedicated lawyers that you need when you are in a fight for financial compensation. We work to hold someone accountable when their actions cause the death of your loved one, whether it is a person or a corporation. To speak with one of our attorneys, you can reach out to us online or call us today at (844) 626-1529. We offer free consultations to prospective clients.
Wrongful Death Case FAQs
How do I win a wrongful death case?
The first step to financial compensation is proving that someone was responsible for your loved one’s death, whether it was through negligence or intentional actions.
How much is my wrongful death case worth?
It is hard to say without knowing the specifics, but your family has a legal right to be paid for the full damages that they have suffered when a loved one dies.
Can I handle my own legal case?
There is nothing that says that you must have a lawyer, but you will be making a big mistake if you try to handle your case on your own.