How are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

Wrongful death settlements are typically paid out in one of two ways: either a lump-sum payout or a structured settlement. Just as it sounds, a lump-sum payout entails the plaintiffs receiving the financial award all at once shortly after the settlement is agreed upon. Structured settlements, on the other hand, spread the payment out over a period of time, with the defendant making regular payments to the plaintiffs.  

Lump-sum payouts 

The benefits of a lump-sum payout are that the plaintiff(s) receive(s) full payment of all damages awarded, which includes all financial losses as well as pain and suffering. This enables the relatives of the victim to pay off large medical and/or legal bills that may be owed and erase any debt that has materialized due to the death of the victim.  

Structured settlements 

Under the ongoing and regular payments of a structured settlement, the plaintiff(s) will continue to be compensated on a regular basis and for a longer period of time. These payments are usually made on a monthly basis. The biggest drawback is that a structured settlement reduces the plaintiff’s ability to pay off larger debts in one fell swoop.  

Who actually pays the settlement? 

While some wrongful death lawsuits are adjudicated directly against the wrongdoer, many wrongful death cases list the wrongdoer’s insurance carrier as the defendant. When this is the case, the insurance carrier is the entity that provides the legal representation that you are opposing, not the original perpetrator. Settlements of wrongful death claims are paid out either by the insurance carrier or by the perpetrator directly.  

Insurance providers are playing to win 

This is one of many reasons why hiring a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer to represent you is often a wise move. Insurance providers have the resources, personnel, and experience to vigorously defend themselves against your claim with a top-notch legal team. They will do everything possible to accentuate the strengths of their case and the weaknesses of your case, and minimize or even ignore the strengths of your case and the weaknesses of their case, all in an effort to make sure that you walk away with the smallest settlement possible – if anything. By attempting to handle your case on your own, you are playing right into their hands, and run the risk of ending up with a much lower settlement than what your case should have gotten.  

What can an attorney do for you?  

On the other hand, qualified wrongful death lawyers that can face the insurance provider head-on, refuse to back down, and advocate strongly on your behalf will show the insurance provider that you mean business and can be the key to maximizing your financial recovery.  

Damages that are common in wrongful death lawsuits 

Speaking of a financial recovery, which types of damages can a wrongful death attorney help you win? 

  • All medical bills incurred by the victim before he or she died 
  • Expenses for the victim’s burial and funeral 
  • Pain and suffering  
  • Loss of the victim’s future income 
  • Loss of the companionship that the victim provided – he or she may have been a spouse, a parent, a grandparent, a child, etc.  
  • Loss of consortium – this typically applies to the victim’s surviving spouse  

A law firm that has stood the test of time 

There are plenty of wrongful death attorneys in Southern California, but how many of them have been around for over 25 years, have recovered over $350 million on behalf of clients, and have earned a 99% success rate for their clients? At Ellis Injury Law, we are proud of our track record of success.  

Call now for a free consultation 

If you would like to learn more about wrongful death settlements, call Ellis Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation, as we have a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer ready to work with you. Not only are our phone lines always open, but our clients are not charged anything unless they win.