It is never easy to say goodbye to a loved one who died in an accident, especially when someone else was at fault for causing that death. Your grief may soon turn to shock when you realize the full extent of the losses left behind by your family member’s passing. With the victim no longer around to contribute financial support, love, guidance, and other benefits, you may feel helpless.
Fortunately, you do have options to pursue the responsible party through a Florida wrongful death claim. It may be possible to recover compensation by filing an insurance claim and, in some cases, you may be able to work out a settlement instead of going to court. You should trust the details to your Miami wrongful death attorney, but you might consider the following benefits.
Settling Brings Certainty
A settlement is an agreement between the parties regarding the amount one should pay the other for causing a fatal accident through carelessness. No disputes remain over who was at fault or exactly how much family members have been impacted by their loved one’s passing. Therefore, you have certainty regarding the outcome of your wrongful death claim and do not wonder about what may happen if you have to take the case to court.
Reduce the Risk
The opposite of certainty is risk, so the benefit of settling a wrongful death case is NOT putting your rights in jeopardy as you would in a lawsuit. There are no guarantees in these cases, so there is always the possibility that you will lose in court. The jury may think that your witnesses lack credibility or your loved one was at fault, which reduces your compensation under Florida’s statute on comparative negligence.
Quicker Time to Resolution
Settlement discussions can take weeks or several months, but this time period is far shorter than what you would face by going to trial. The various stages of litigation, in rough order, include:
- Drafting and filing the complaint to initiate litigation;
- Waiting for the defendant to respond to the complaint;
- Discovery and depositions;
- Motion practice and hearings;
- Jury selection; and,
Challenges with Proving Wrongful Death
One key reason to consider settlement is that it could be difficult to prove the elements of a wrongful death case when the star witness has passed away. Of course, there are other sources of evidence. However, having the victim available will almost always make the case stronger. If your position is weaker, it may be wise to go with settlement over litigation.
Set Up a Consultation with Our Skilled Miami Wrongful Death Lawyers
These advantages to settling a Florida wrongful death claim may seem attractive, but it is essential to work with a skilled attorney to ensure protection of your rights. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can advise you on settlement after learning more about your situation, so please contact us right away. We can schedule a no-cost case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.