How Long Does it Take to Get Paid After a Wrongful Death Settlement?
A straightforward wrongful death settlement can be processed fairly quickly, often in about two to four months. When the settlement is not so straightforward, like when the insurance company disputes liability, the process can take longer. Wrongful death litigation might last two to four years.
Presenting a strong case of liability and damages from the outset can lead to a quicker resolution of your case. When you choose to work with experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers, it can improve the speed of your case and the completeness of your compensation.
The importance of wrongful death settlements
While a family is grieving the loss of a loved one they still need to meet financial obligations, adjust to life without the late loved one’s personal services, and possibly pay medical bills related to their death. A wrongful death settlement can provide reimbursement of medical expenses and funeral bills, replace lost income, and even allow the family to hire help to perform tasks that their loved one used to complete.
Wrongful death compensation can include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income that the deceased would have earned
- Loss of society and companionship
Wrongful death claims represent the family’s loss because of the death and punitive damages are not available. However, sometimes the wrongful death case can include a survival claim – this is the claim that the deceased would have been allowed to bring if they had survived the accident – and punitive damages may be available in those instances. Your personal injury lawyer can help you determine what compensation may be due in your case.
Time frame for wrongful death claims
The quickest wrongful death cases are those that an insurance company settles without the family filing a lawsuit. This is how most cases are concluded. You are more likely to see this kind of resolution when the claim is relatively small or there is ample clear evidence of fault by the insurance company’s policyholder.
In cases that tend to take longer to resolve, there is often some dispute as to fault. The evidence of the policyholder’s liability might not be convincing or the deceased person may have been partly to blame. This is especially true when the claimed damages are large, like when the victim had a large income and long life expectancy.
There may also be complicated questions over whether the insurance policy covers the accident, which family members are legally permitted to receive compensation, or how multiple insurance companies must apportion the compensation. An experienced attorney can help you navigate these situations to that your rights are protected.
When to speak with a CA wrongful death lawyer
If you have experienced the unthinkable, it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Ideally, your case will be one of the many that reach a fair settlement quickly. If it is not, then it will be a comfort to already know your rights, know what to look for in the insurance process, and have the backing of an experienced attorney if you need it.
If your claim is going to fall into the “complicated” category, it is not one that you should handle on your own. Complicated cases, as already mentioned, include those in which liability is unclear or disputed, where there are questions about insurance coverage or about who is entitled to benefits. These situations can require specialized legal knowledge to resolve.
Consult with a legal professional in southern California
For the cases that do not settle quickly, a wrongful death lawsuit can be a commitment of a year or more. Take the time to talk to an attorney to make sure you are a good fit. The personal injury attorneys at Ellis Injury Law are committed to providing personal attention and competent counsel during a difficult time.
Call Ellis Injury Law today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We never charge a fee unless we secure compensation on your behalf.