Unfortunately, how long a wrongful death lawsuit takes is different for every case, as each one is unique, and the things that family members must prove in court will vary based on the exact circumstances that led to the death.
However, to properly pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, it will likely take several months or even years. Even so, an attorney can provide more information about what to expect when pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit and the steps that the case will require to bring your family justice.
A Wrongful Death Case May End with a Settlement
In an ideal situation, a decedent’s family members can obtain the compensation they need without ever needing to go to court. This is most likely in situations where fault is not in dispute and adequate insurance is in place.
Despite this fact, it may still take many months or years to resolve these cases. Family members need to take proper measurements of how the incident has impacted every part of their lives. Doing so may require an economic analysis, a determination of a family’s loss of support due to the death, and even a full realization of funeral and medical costs.
On top of this, it is still necessary to demonstrate how someone was to blame for a truck accident, defective product, or medical malpractice. A lawyer can help people determine whether a settlement may be possible in their wrongful death case and evaluate how long they may take.
Cases that Must Go to Court Tend to Take Longer
Sadly, not every wrongful death case will end with a fair settlement. In many situations, there may be a genuine dispute as to whether a party carries the blame for an incident, especially if the defending parties argue contributory negligence under the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2315.33.
In other cases, the main disagreement may concern the proper amount of compensation to set things right. Either of these scenarios may necessitate family members to request a trial to obtain the compensation that they deserve.
Requesting a trial requires parties to follow the state’s laws and procedures. A clear example of this is the state’s statute of limitations. According to the ORC §2125.02, surviving family members have no more than two years after the date of death to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
In other words, the family may wait up to two years following a death to even start the trial process. However, it is legally possible for a party to file a lawsuit the day after the death occurs. Once again, the correct time to send a case to court will vary depending on the specific circumstances.
Once a case goes to court, it is still difficult to predict how long it will take to reach a conclusion. In some situations, merely sending a case to court will be enough to spur more fruitful settlement talks. In others, a court’s decision concerning the admissibility of evidence or the eligibility of witnesses could determine the outcome of a case.
A full trial may be necessary to bring families the compensation that they need. However, as a general rule, a case that goes to court will last longer than those that end with a settlement.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Tend to Take Time
Parties who are at fault for accidents are liable to provide fair compensation. However, you may be wondering how long a wrongful death lawsuit will take. Whereas many personal injury cases end in a few months, wrongful death cases will likely take several months or years to come to a resolution.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be more complex than other personal injury lawsuits. It is necessary to evaluate not just how the event affected the victim but also the victim’s family. Proving fault for wrongful death can be extremely complicated, especially if more than one party may be to blame. Finally, it may be necessary to take the case to court to obtain the best possible result.
The legal team at the Columbus office at the Fitch Law Firm, LLC is ready to help you. Our attorneys can explain the processes behind a wrongful death lawsuit and work to estimate a case’s legal path. Regardless of whether it is possible to end the case with a settlement or if a trial is necessary to protect your family, we are ready to take every possible step.
Contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC today at (614) 545-3930 to learn more. Since our law firm works on a contingency-fee-basis, you will not owe us a dime unless and until the at-fault party’s representative or the court awards you with compensation.