Should You Settle A Wrongful Death Case?

It can be difficult to lose a loved one due to negligence or an intentional act. It results in a tragedy that is hard for surviving family members to recover from, which is why they often pursue legal action. A wrongful death lawsuit will either resolve itself in mediation or trial, and it helps to know how these two options are different from each other if you decide to move forward with a lawsuit. 


It's possible for a settlement to happen in mediation, which is when both parties come to an agreement on how much the case is being settled for. One of the nice things about mediation is that your settlement will remain private instead of becoming public. You may prefer to not have the details of the wrongful death case released so that others can find out about what happened.

Mediation also allows for significant cost and time savings. You may not realize how long it will take to get a court date, and then how expensive that case can be. Your legal team will likely charge you more for their time during litigation because of how difficult it is and requires skill and experience. 

There is also the certainty of an outcome in mediation. You can control and negotiate how much of a settlement you will receive, and continue to make counter offers until you are satisfied.


A trial will be necessary if you cannot reach a settlement in mediation or are unhappy with the settlement. You also have the option to go straight to a trail, but it is not typically recommended due to the cost and time involved. 

What makes a trial different is that a judge or jury will decide the outcome of your case, as well as what sort of compensation will be rewarded. You cannot negotiate that decision and must take it for what it is. While a trial may have the potential to award a higher amount of compensation, know that it is not a guarantee either. This is typically done if the behavior showed egregious actions that caused the wrongful death, and that the settlement offer was not appropriate.

Be aware that a trial can be very emotional since it does take place in public. Everything said will be part of public record, people can listen in on the case, and the newspaper can even write a story about what was presented during the trial. 

For more information, contact service provider like Bates & Slone Attorneys At Law.

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