This is the next post in my series on the handling of wrongful death cases in Laredo and other Texas areas. My last article discussed dealing with a wrongful death case which involves commercial defendants. It is important to understand that the presence of commercial entities can complicate such matters as the case will have numerous causes of action against different parties. This can greatly complicate the discovery process. You can increase the chances of your case being handled correctly by retaining an attorney with experience in such matters. In this article, we will address the common question of “how long does it take to settle a wrongful death case?” It must be understood that, for the reasons explained below, it can take substantial time to settle such a matter. If you need assistance then contact our office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer. We serve much of south Texas.
We have previously explained why trucking accidents can take substantial time to settle. It can also take a long period of time to resolve a wrongful death case, but for different reasons. Settling a case where one has lost their life means that the Plaintiffs and Defendants must be able to reach an agreement that a) the defendants’ negligence was the actual cause of the loss and b) the amount of compensation to be paid. Even if the defendants’ liability is beyond dispute (which is often not the case), there will almost always be substantial disagreement over the amount of compensation to be paid. This disagreement stems from the fact that the insurance carriers are essentially sure to dispute the value of the victims’ pain and suffering as well as the economic loss caused by the death.
Expert witnesses will be key to establishing the amount of compensation to be paid to the victims. The victims will be able to utilize medical professionals to offer expert opinions regarding the amount of pain and suffering which was endured by the deceased between the time of the accident and his or her death. Moreover, vocational experts will need to be retained in order to gain a qualified opinion as to how much money the deceased would have earned during the remainder of their life. The defendants will retain their own experts, who will offer competing opinions on these issues. It can often take substantial time for the various experts to issue their necessary opinions. Negotiations will typically go back and forth for some time. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement as to a settlement amount then the case will need to proceed to litigation. At trial, it will be up to the jurors to decide which expert’s opinion, if any, should be given more weight.
If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence then it is important that you retain an attorney who has experience in handling such matters and in dealing with experts. Failing to retain qualified experts, or accepting a “low ball” settlement, can result in the surviving family members receiving less than what they should be entitled to. I am a Laredo wrongful death lawyer and I take great pride in the level of service which my office provides. We believe in providing the highest level of service and we value the wellbeing of individuals over the profits of a corporation. If you are in need of assistance then contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.