Not all wrongful death lawsuits are settled by the court. Most of the claims are settled outside the court if both parties agree to it. It will take months or even years for completing the legal procedures in the court for reaching a settlement. During this period, you will also have to appear in the court multiple times for the litigation process. All these can be a devastating experience especially when you are grieving the death of your loved one. Hence, most people prefer out-of-court settlement as it will be quick.
However, you have to be really careful when opting for settling your wrongful death lawsuit out-of-court as there is a huge possibility for the other party to reduce the amount you deserve. Therefore, we list some important factors you have to consider before you plan to settle the wrongful death claim.
Your considerations should include:
- The total amount your lawsuit is worth
- The approximate time the trial will take
- How strong your evidence is
- The strength or weakness of the other party’s evidence
- Possible delays in the trial
- The chance of winning the trial
- If there are any similar cases that achieved positive or negative results
- The possibility of having to pay the attorney’s fees of the other party if you lose the trial
You have to consider all these factors before you come to a decision about settling your lawsuit. If you have strong evidence to prove the other party’s liability, then the defendant or his insurance company will persuade you to settle the case outside the court for preventing the things from getting worse. However, you should not fall for their trick, as the amount they offer might be very less than what you deserve. Hence, it is better to seek the help of wrongful death lawyers for determining whether it is a good idea to settle for the amount offered by the opposite party.
Out Of Court Settling Options
There are mainly two options available for settling your wrongful death claim out of court:
Mediation: Here a mediator will analyze the case and hear the claims of both parties. After listening to both sides of the case he/she will suggest a settlement. You can either agree to this settlement or negotiate further.
Arbitration: It includes both the plaintiff and the defendant, and an arbitrator. The arbitrator will listen to both parties and analyze the evidence. Based on the proof submitted and the claims made by both parties, the arbitrator will make a ruling either in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant. Here either the plaintiff or the defendant will win the case. If you are not satisfied with this ruling you will have to find other ways for settling the case.