If you find yourself in a position where you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against someone, you probably have a lot on your mind. It is an understandably difficult time and you probably have many questions. A common question is how long the lawsuit would likely take if you were to file. Before you do it, you need to understand just how big an undertaking it will really be. This guide will provide you with the answer to this question.
The truth is that the length of court cases vary a huge amount. It is impossible to say with certainty in advance how long yours will last. However, you should know that trials usually last much longer than most people realize. Television and movies usually depict lawsuits going to trial within a few weeks, but this is completely unrealistic.
The first part of the lawsuit is called discovery. It involves both sides gathering evidence and preparing their arguments. Discovery routinely lasts longer than an entire year, and is essentially never shorter than a few months. The trial itself may last a few months to a whole year as well. So, if your case continues to its natural completion, it may take as long as a few years or as short as half a year.
Another thing that people do not realize is that most lawsuits end in a settlement of some kind. Due to the portrayal of accepting a settlement in entertainment, people assume that accepting an offer is a form of admitting defeat. Settling is actually the opposite. It is simply both sides agreeing that the defendant is responsible and agreeing on a fair amount of compensation without a judge’s ruling. In all likelihood, a settlement offer will be made unless the defense attorney is very confident that they will win the case.
Accepting a settlement reduces how long a lawsuit takes by ending it prematurely. If you receive a settlement early, the whole process may only take a month or possibly even less. You should factor the value of saving time and court costs when deciding whether or not to accept a settlement offer.
It may not be satisfying to know that you cannot know how long your claim will take to resolve. Every case is unique, which means the time it is likely to take varies wildly. However, you can get a good estimate of what length you can expect, by speak with a wrongful death attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in Lakewood FL from David & Philpot, P.L.