How Long Does It Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Suit?
The loss of a loved one is devastating. A preventable death can be especially heartbreaking. When the negligence or misconduct of another person or party results in death, they should be held accountable for resulting losses. Surviving loved ones can pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
As families struggle to cover medical expenses and funeral and burial costs, they often wonder how long it takes to settle a wrongful death suit. Each case is unique, but wrongful death attorney Hardin Ramey explains the process of filing a wrongful death case and prepares his Dallas, TX, clients for how long it may take to settle a suit.
Accepting a Quick Settlement
Depending on the circumstances of a death, a wrongful death claim can be filed through the liable party’s insurance company. Insurance companies often offer a quick settlement following a wrongful death. If surviving family members accept an offer, paperwork is signed and processed, and settlement funds may be received in as little as three to four weeks.
A quick insurance settlement is the fastest way to settle a wrongful death claim, but we advise against accepting a settlement offer without talking to an attorney. Insurance companies aim to close claims quickly before the full extent of losses is known. Quick insurance settlements tend to be substantially lower than those negotiated by a wrongful death lawyer.
How Long Does the Legal Process Take?
Settling a wrongful death suit with an attorney usually takes significantly longer than a quick insurance settlement. It can take months or even years to settle a wrongful death suit. The legal process takes longer because an attorney thoroughly investigates the details of a wrongful death and gathers relevant information to ascertain a just settlement. A wrongful death suit takes place in the following stages:
- Pre-litigation (preliminary investigation, identifying liable parties, etc.)
- Filing the complaint
- Discovery (the plaintiff and defendant gather evidence and witness testimonies to build their case)
- Settlement negotiations (the plaintiff and defendant attempt to reach a pre-trial settlement)
- Trial (if a settlement is not reached)
Each stage of a wrongful death suit can take several weeks or months. The length of a case depends largely on the details surrounding the death and the amount of damages being pursued. Hardin Ramey strives to settle cases as quickly as possible without sacrificing the financial compensation his Dallas clients are due.
How Quickly Will I Receive My Money After Accepting a Settlement?
Wrongful death plaintiffs should know that it takes time to receive money after reaching a settlement or settling a wrongful death case. The amount of time to receive money depends partly on the complexity of the case and the type of payout. Wrongful death settlements may be rewarded as lump-sum payouts or structured payment plans. Typically, it takes four to six weeks to receive money after accepting a settlement.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of another person’s reckless or negligent actions, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. To discuss your case with wrongful death attorney Hardin Ramey, send us a message online and request a consultation at our Dallas law firm.