Losing a loved one is devastating under any circumstances. If this beloved family member dies tragically because of another person’s actions, it can be even more difficult to come to grips with the event and recover. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit will not solve all of your problems as you grieve for this person’s loss. However, a settlement could help relieve a lot of financial burdens. You can also have some peace of mind knowing that the guilty party has been held accountable. Before you get too far in this process, it helps to understand some common questions people have about these suits.
How Long Will it Take?
It’s no secret that some lawsuits can drag on for months or even years. While you want to avoid lengthy cases, it’s sometimes difficult. This is the case with a wrongful death lawsuit. You should expect your suit to take at least a year and possibly up to four years. Various factors will determine the speed of your case. For example, if you can settle out of court, you may be able to wrap things up in a few months. If you are unable to do this and the case goes to trial, it will likely be longer. Your attorney should never promise you a specific time frame.
What Damages Can I Seek?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you are asserting that another person or party caused the premature death of a loved one. You hold this person legally liable for this passing. Your lawsuit can see damages for medical bills your loved one incurred. These may include hospital stays, surgeries, medication, medical equipment or any other treatments designed to save the person’s life. You can also seek damages to pay for funeral and burial costs. The deceased person’s lost wages and loss of future earnings can also fall into this category. You may also sue for damages to compensate you for the loss of companionship and enjoyment.
How Much Can I Get?
A plaintiff’s settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit will vary depending on the circumstances and the nature of the incident. It is difficult to estimate a payout amount, though you should expect your lawyer to help you recover your costs for payments you have already made or are obligated to make on the loved one’s behalf. Your attorney will calculate what your loved one would have earned had he or she lived. This should factor in the settlement too.
Hiring the right attorney, like a Newark Personal Injury Attorney, is an important step in this process. Before you do this, it’s good to understand what to expect when you file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Thank you to Rispoli & Borneo P.C. for their insight into personal injury law.