How Long Does it Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Suit?
When someone is killed as the result of another person’s reckless or negligent actions, the court system considers it a wrongful death. A wrongful death is devastating for surviving family members. The consequences of a wrongful death are not only emotional, but also financial.
Following a wrongful death, descendants have the right to file a wrongful death claim to hold liable parties accountable for the economic and non-economic damages related to the death. Here, wrongful death lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, in Bellevue, WA, discuss the average amount of time it takes to settle a wrongful death suit, as well as the factors that can affect the length of the lawsuit.
How Long Will My Wrongful Death Suit Last?
The amount of time it takes to settle a wrongful death suit can vary greatly from one situation to another. In a limited number of cases, a wrongful death claim can be settled in a matter of months. However it often takes longer than that. The average amount of time that it takes to complete a wrongful death suit is between one and four years. The duration of a wrongful death lawsuit can be affected by a number of different factors, including the experience and knowledge of the wrongful death attorney, the amount of evidence that is gathered, and whether or not a pre-trial settlement is reached.
Lawyer Knowledge and Experience
When filing a wrongful death claim, it is beneficial to work with a lawyer who has knowledge and experience in that area of the law. While it is important that a lawyer understand the elements necessary to prove a wrongful death claim, as well as the types of compensation that may be due to those filing the lawsuit, plaintiffs should understand that having a knowledgeable attorney doesn’t necessarily speed up the lawsuit process. In fact, sometimes a lawsuit takes longer when a knowledgeable lawyer is involved, because they are very careful to ensure that all proper documents and sources of evidence have been gathered before moving forward with the case.
Gathering and Exchanging of Evidence
Once a wrongful death claim has been filed, the plaintiff and defendant enter into the “discovery” phase of the lawsuit. Discovery tends to account for the majority of time spent on a wrongful death case. During discovery lawyers from each party’s side are allowed time to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build their case.
Lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant exchange evidence and information throughout discovery, so that each is prepared for the arguments that will be made by the other side. The duration of the discovery process depends on the complexity of the case, but it can sometimes take six months or more.
Pre-trial Settlement or Court Hearing
Another factor that has a large impact on the length of a wrongful death claim is whether the parties reach a pre-trial settlement, or if the case requires a court hearing. Oftentimes, a settlement is reached before court, which makes the process a little faster. However, if a trial is necessary to get the most favorable outcome possible for our Bellevue clients, our lawyers are always prepared to go to court. A trial adds time to the length of a wrongful death claim, but is necessary in some situations.
Contact Quick Law Group, PLLC
If you have lost a loved one prematurely and are considering filing a wrongful death claim, the lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process. If you’d like to schedule a personal consultation at our Bellevue law firm, send us a message online, or call (425) 576-8150.