If an auto accident has resulted in a wrongful death to your loved one, wondering what lies ahead may seem overwhelming. Wrongful death cases can be very emotional, complex, and even lengthy, depending on the outcome at each step of the process. However, understanding the steps involved in a wrongful death case will leave you better prepared and give you strength in knowledge. The following gives a general outline of the process of a wrongful death case:
Wrongful death lawsuits
- Designate a representative and identify survivors – Begin by designating one person who can act as a representative and handle any medical bills and financial obligations after the accident that could be considered monetary damages. As well, identify any survivors of the deceased, including blood relatives and anyone who is considered a dependent.
- Start with a claim – Once you have a sense of the damages involved, you can first make a monetary claim against the defendant(s) for those damages. However, if the claim is not settled—as can often happen in complicated cases such as these—you may need to move forward with a lawsuit.
- File a lawsuit – After a lawsuit is filed, a discovery process will bring to light certain statements, documents, and admissions that support both sides—yours and the defendant(s)—as well as witnesses who can help to establish the facts of the case.
- Mediate – Before a trial date is set, you and the opposing party will have the option to go through mediation to try to resolve the case without a trial. If both parties aren’t able to come to an agreement, then a trial date will be set. During the trial, a jury will determine if the defendant(s) is responsible for the death, as well as the appropriate amount of damages that should be awarded.
- Resolve or appeal – After the trial, if the verdict is in favor of the deceased, then damages will be awarded to that person’s estate and distributed to the survivors. If the verdict is in favor of the defendant(s), then no award will be made and the case will be dismissed. At this point, each side also has the right to appeal the decision if they disagree with the outcome.
are unique from each other and require a careful, considerate, and straightforward approach. Local Denver auto accident attorney Mark A. Simon specializes in wrongful death cases and can help guide you and your loved ones through this difficult time. Call 303-321-HURT for a consultation.