No one wants to have to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Most do not want to have to take the lawsuit to trial either. If you file a wrongful death suit against a company, individual, or insurance company, there is a chance that you could go to trial. In most cases, though, you won’t go to trial because it is more beneficial for the defendant to settle out of court.
Courts Are Unpredictable
No one can predict the jury’s decision. While both sides may be confident in their arguments and you can predict the way that a judge or jury is going to decide, this does not make going to trial a great decision. Surprises can happen. When a defendant goes to trial for a wrongful death lawsuit, he or she could wind up with a harsh judgment against him or her. The control is out of the defendant’s hands when it comes to all negotiations.
The Expense Isn’t Worth It
Court fees are expensive. When sued for wrongful death, the defendant may weigh out the cost. It may be cheaper to settle, then to pay the legal fees associated with the court case, and then to pay the settlement on top of that. The defendant may be asked to pay more than the original settlement would have been. Most defendants want to spend as little as possible. While you should always hold your ground and only accept the settlement that you deserve, you can expect that the defendant will want to settle before going to trial. The initial offer may be lower than you deserve, so always negotiate.
Settlements Can Stay Private
Settlements are private matters, whereas courts are public. When a company, for instance, is found guilty of wrongful death, this could ruin its reputation. A settlement outside of court, however, is less public and the defendant does not have to admit to being liable.
For insurance companies and individuals who face a civil lawsuit, particularly a wrongful death lawsuit, it may be in their best interest to settle out of court. While it is more common to receive a settlement, be prepared to go to trial. Sometimes, the defendant will try to pay the least possible amount and won’t sway on it. You deserve to receive compensation for your loved one’s passing.