Wrongful death legal action is usually brought about when a person dies a premature death as a result of recklessness, negligence, or in some situations deliberate behavior. These lawsuits are typically handled by a wrongful death attorney to help surviving members of a family collect damages for an untimely death. You may be wondering what goes into this type of lawsuit and how much support you can expect from a lawyer.
Before any action is taken on behalf of your family, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation about the potential litigation. He will meet with members of the family to gather information and facts regarding the deceased.
Important information collected during the investigation could include what the deceased did for a living, his health, how he died and information about the company or person that may be served. If it is determined there is probable cause, the lawyer will proceed with the case.
Filing the Lawsuit
A civil lawsuit (complaint) is drafted and filed with the courts. At this stage, the complaint is on the public record. Responsible parties in the case are served a claim and deadlines are set by the court.
Discovery is the formal investigation of facts collected by your wrongful death attorney. Relatives or friends of the deceased may be asked to contribute knowledge about the accident in written form, produce medical records and legal documentation of the cause of death.
Witnesses are called to the legal office and provide a sworn testimony. A witness gives a verbal testimony of what they know to be facts in the case that they can testify to. Testimony cannot be hearsay, but it must be personal knowledge that they have personally witnessed. For instance, a witness may have seen a pedestrian run down by a vehicle. This would be a personal deposition that could be used in court.
Dispositive motions are technical details called pretrial motions that are brought to court by your lawyer on your behalf. Generally, this gives both parties the opportunity to resolve the matter or dispose of the legal action based on various grounds. At this stage, the litigation could be dismissed.
Mediation and arbitration are both methods used to prevent the litigation from going to trial. Mediation is a formal and structured attempt at reaching a settlement between the two parties. If both sides agree, an arbitrator (an impartial third party) can be brought in to listen to arguments. The arbitrator findings are final, and the litigation does not go to trial.
It is possible to reach a settlement anywhere throughout the proceedings. In some instances, the defendant may rather settle than let the case go to court. The plaintiff may receive monetary rewards for burial services, pain and suffering, loss of life, or other damages.
If legal action results in a trial, it could last from as little as a day to several weeks. Even after going to trial, cases can still be challenged in the appellate court. Most wrongful death lawsuits are settled beforehand and never make it to trial.
Suing for wrongful death can be an emotional and drawn out experience for family members. However, your wrongful death attorney is there for depositions, motions, mediations, and the trial to look out for your best interests and offer support.
When considering a wrongful death attorney Baton Rouge residents visit Murray & Murray Law Firm, LLC. Learn more at http://www.murraylaw.net/wrongful-death-attorney.html.
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