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What Happens in the Event of Wrongful Death?

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2018 | Personal Injury


One of the most difficult experiences in a person’s life is the death of a loved one. But the addition of a wrongful case can make the situation seemingly unbearable. Unless you have an experienced lawyer who focuses on wrongful death, cases of this nature can be very complex leading to long, drawn out tribulations for families. There is a high likelihood you could be entitled to collect on a wrongful death lawsuit if someone you love has been killed in a malevolent act or accident.

The Definition of Wrongful Death 

A wrongful death claim is one made after an individual dies as a result of the malicious, intentional, and/or negligent act of another person. Already grieving, it is up to the spouse or family member to file suit and ensure that the party in the wrong pays compensation.

A significant distinction in a wrongful death case is that it’s a civil lawsuit and not a criminal case. However, the party responsible for the untimely death can be tried separately or face charges in a separate criminal case. For example, if a spouse was slain by a vehicle driven by an intoxicated driver, the widow or widower has the right to file a wrongful death suit. The suit can be filed even if the prosecuting attorney hasn’t filed charges against the person who was driving under the influence.

What Happens During a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

Initially, there is the discovery process where both sides gather information from one another regarding the case. This data can include depositions, physical documents, interviews, and written statements

Next, legal motions by are presented by attorneys in court. These arguments can contain additional details about the complaint or they can dispute evidence offered by the opposing party.

Then a settlement conference between the attorneys and the judge may take place. When this happens, a judge attempts to negotiate a settlement between both parties to avoid a trial. If no settlement is attained, a wrongful death trial is set. During this time, both sides call witnesses to testify. Attorneys cross examine those witnesses, present evidence, and make their arguments. A jury or judge (who determines the amount of damages awarded) will enter a verdict in favor of the plaintiff or defendant. An appeal can be filed by either side following the decision made by the jury or judge. Finally, the process of collection follows the verdict.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, there are various types of damages that can be awarded. The most common is for lost wages, financial support, or pain and suffering.

Hire a Double Board Certified Attorney in Vero Beach  

A wrongful death case can be emotionally draining and time consuming. Hire an experienced Vero Beach lawyer at Vocelle & Berg, LLP to help. Our dedicated legal team is eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.

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