My Loved One is a Victim of Wrongful Death, What Next?
Unfortunately, our loved ones pass away sometimes. The grief can be compounded when that person dies, because of wrongful death. Knowing that the death could’ve been avoided is heartbreaking. You may feel angry, sad, and frustrated when you find this out. At that point, you’re going to want to talk to a lawyer. The lawyer can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. Although it won’t bring your loved one back, it may help bring your closure. These are the steps to take in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Phase 1: pre-litigation
The attorney will investigate the claim to make sure that it was indeed a wrongful death. They should find a lot of evidence during this process. They will help you decide whether you should move forward with the lawsuit or not. Assuming you both agree to continue then the lawsuit begins. The lawyer will probably meet with the defendant to try to hammer out a settlement before going to court.
Phase 2: litigation
If your attorney is unable to reach a settlement, he or she will file a lawsuit against the person or company responsible for the wrongful death. The defendant then responds to the suit before heading into the discovery phase. During the discovery phase, both sides will try to obtain information from the other side. That can be through depositions which are just interviews, request for documents, and written questions. Then the trial will move into pre-trial motions. Here the attorneys make legal arguments about things like disputes about obtaining evidence, details about the case, or a straight dismissal of the case based on the evidence. After the motions to complete both sides meet with the judge in a settlement conference to try to come to a settlement. The judge acts as a mediator between the two sides. If a settlement can’t be reached you’ll move to trial. At trial, both sides will lay out their case for the judge and possibly a jury. The judge or jury will then decide the winner.
Phase 3: settlement
After the trial, the losing side may appeal the verdict. If a guilty verdict stays in place the defendant must pay out the settlement. If the defendant fails to pay, the state has ways to help find the assets of the defendant in order to pay out the settlement.
Your lawyer may mean the difference between a good settlement and getting nothing at all. Make sure you find a lawyer with a good track record, references, and a disposition you like. If you’re looking for the best wrongful death lawyer in Houma LA click here.