Length of a DC Wrongful Death Case

Wrongful death cases can often take a significant amount of time. Even though the facts of the case may seem very straight forward in terms of the happening of the accident and the ultimate death of the person, however there are a lot of additional steps that need to be accomplished by family members or their DC wrongful death attorney before the case is in a position to be resolved.   

In certain circumstances, family members may need to initiate an estate case in the probate court before the investigation of the wrongful death can begin which overall, means these claims can take a significant amount of time to handle properly. 

Factors That Impact The Length of a Case

First, it should be stressed that no two cases are ever the same and so how long any particular case will take to complete is really dependent upon the facts and circumstances of that individual case. With that said, typically, when a person is killed by the negligence of another, which gives rise to a wrongful death claim, the proper channels for handling the claim need to be followed.  There are estate issues and notice issues that need to be resolved as well as a proper and thorough investigation into the accident as well as the person responsible for the death before any recommendations can be made regarding the resolution of the claim.

Completing a Wrongful Death Case

A wrongful death case is completed when either when the surviving family members decide the case is complete or the court enters its verdict.  When a person has the right to bring a claim that person must decide whether or not he/she is going to file a lawsuit.  The only thing that forces insurance companies to pay claims before a lawsuit is filed is the threat that a lawsuit will be filed.  There is no legal obligation of a liable party to pay a claim until the court enters a judgment against the liable party. 

If a person is going to initiate a wrongful death claim, that person must be prepared to see the case through trial.  Once the trial court renders its verdict than the case is complete. Conversely, if the surviving heirs do not want to file a lawsuit than the heirs are essentially giving up their right to pursue the claim and are therefore voluntarily abandoning their claim – should they not initiate a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations

End Goals That An Attorney Will Strive For

The end goals for an experienced wrongful death attorney is to maximize the recovery for the surviving heirs of the decedent. To properly evaluate and confirm that there are no other sources of recovery for the surviving heirs, and offer piece of mind to the surviving family members that no stone has been left unturned.