A wrongful death claim can take as little as six months or as long as a few years. There are several factors that could affect the timing of the resolution of a fatal accident case. Reach out to The Warren Firm today to learn more about the length of a Charlottesville wrongful death action.
The only person who can file a wrongful death claim is the representative of the estate. An executor may be named in the deceased’s will, or a family member could qualify as an administrator after the fatal accident.
The process of naming an administrator could affect the length of a claim, especially if the family members cannot decide who should fill the role. A wrongful death attorney could guide families through the process of qualifying someone as the administrator and filing a claim before the two-year statutory deadline.
The length of time needed to settle a wrongful death case depends on the plaintiff’s and the insurance company’s ability to reach an agreement on the amount of compensation owed to the family of the deceased. Issues may arise if the insurance company’s initial settlement offer is too low to cover all the family’s damages. A lawyer with experience negotiating with insurance companies could provide insight into how long it may take to settle your wrongful death claim.
If the case settles, the court must approve the amount of money the administrator accepts for the estate. Further, the court must approve the distribution of that money among the surviving family members. The purpose of this settlement approval is to ensure that everyone entitled to wrongful death recovery is treated fairly.
When family members cannot agree on the settlement distribution, the circuit court may hear evidence and decide how the money will be divided. A seasoned attorney could help your family promptly bring these actions before the court to obtain a wrongful death settlement approval.
When a case cannot be resolved in a settlement, an attorney might recommend filing a lawsuit. Preparing to go to court can be a lengthy process, but working with a lawyer could increase the likelihood that the case is resolved before trial.
If the deceased’s family members believe there was an error in the trial, they may appeal the court’s decision. A lawyer with trial experience could avoid potential appellate issues and inform your family of the length of a wrongful death appeal.
The grieving process for every family is different. One may not completely come to terms with the loss of their loved ones for months and even years after a fatal accident. An attorney could provide you with legal assistance while you take time to heal.
If you recently lost a loved one in an accident, you and your family should consider hiring an attorney as soon as you are able. By meeting with a lawyer early on, you could preserve evidence and learn more about the legal process. Contact us today speak with a lawyer about the length of a Charlottesville wrongful death action.