If you have lost a loved one due to the fault of another person or entity, there can be nothing more traumatizing and tragic.
The circumstances are bound to change your life forever. And you are probably going through a lot of emotions as much as you are financial turmoil, especially if you were in any way dependent on your loved one.
Qualifying family members can file a wrongful death claim, this means you can file one if were related to the decedent as his or her:
- Spouse or partner
- Child, adopted or natural
A wrongful death claim can help you get the financial compensation you need and deserve (though it goes without saying it will never replace your loved one nor the emotional pain you feel).
Most insurance companies will want to settle the claim and save on expenses that they acquire during trials. You may wonder the same: what’s better for you? Settling or going to trial?
It all really depends on a number of factors. Below are the benefits of both, and once you know what those benefits are, you can align the benefits with your wants and values to determine how you should proceed.
That said, it is always advisable to contact a lawyer to make sure you do what’s best in your unique situation.
The below are general benefits that may or may not apply – each case is unique and there may be factors not considered here but that could make a serious difference in your case.
Benefits of Settling a Wrongful Death Claim in California
There are several benefits for family members who file a wrongful death claim in California.
First, you are emotionally distraught and may not be mentally prepared for a long battle that going to trial entails.
Second, you may have acquired some bills, like funeral or burial expenses and other expenses that the decedent would have normally handled. In these scenarios, a settlement sounds appealing.
A settlement is even more appealing (and more likely) when fault is clear and unquestioned and the damages have been clearly defined and laid out for the insurance company and its adjusters and attorneys.
When you have a strong case, the insurer is less likely to fight it. If there is no way it can show the decedent was partly to blame for the accident and, thus, partially to blame for his or her own death, then there isn’t much an insurance company can do to reduce its payout to you.
Plus, settling brings the case to a close faster and with less expenses, meaning more time and more money for you. But to settle in a way that is fair and just means ensuring that all your legal angles are covered.
You don’t want to settle just to settle. An attorney can help make sure you settle only when in your best interests and not the insurer’s.
Sometimes, however, the benefits to going to trial may outweigh the benefits of settling.
Benefits of Going to Trial for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California
The benefit of trial is always the benefit of having your day in court.
For some, it is a moment akin to redemption or therapy. But it is also beneficial when the insurer is not as willing to offer a fair and just settlement.
You owe it to yourself to get what you deserve and sometimes that means fighting for it. It may be hard in the immediate, but long-term, it will be what’s best.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to develop a strategy that demonstrates fault and identifies your damages. An experienced attorney will also be able to appeal to a jury’s emotion and sense of justice.
A jury tends to award much more than what would be offered in a settlement, and that’s be primary benefit of going to trial.
When to Contact an Experienced Newport Beach Wrongful Death Attorney
When you have lost someone due to the fault of another person or entity, then you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
A resourceful Newport Beach wrongful death attorney can help you draft a compelling and well-organized claim that is supported by evidence and the law.
If a settlement does not transpire then a trial may be necessary. Your attorney will help you determine what works in your favor in your unique circumstances.
At The Ledger Law Firm we care and, as such, we will pursue a just and fair award on your behalf and will never settle for less than that. Contact our Newport Beach office today to discuss your wrongful death claim.