| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury
how long does a wrongful death lawsuit take to settle

If your family suffered the unexpected loss of a loved one, you’re likely considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Understandably, most people want to know how long does a wrongful death lawsuit take?

The time to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit can vary significantly, depending on the circumstances of your case.

If you have questions about wrongful death lawsuits, contact the New Jersey wrongful death lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action brought against an individual or entity whose actions or inaction caused the death of another person.

The New Jersey Wrongful Death Act governs these lawsuits, including what family members are eligible for compensation. 

How Long Do Wrongful Death Cases Take?

The amount of time it takes to settle a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey varies depending on your case. Various factors can impact the duration of your lawsuit, including the: 

  • Complexity of the case, 
  • Availability of evidence, and 
  • Willingness of the parties to settle. 

In general, it’s reasonable to expect a wrongful death case to take months or even years. 

Should you choose not to hire a New Jersey wrongful death lawyer, your case might resolve quickly—but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

The main element that can speed up the timeline is if the defendant’s insurance company issues a lowball settlement offer and the victim’s family accepts it. 

The main element that can speed up the timeline is if the defendant’s insurance company issues a lowball settlement offer and the victim’s family accepts it. 

Insurance company adjusters know grieving family members are likely in need of money, so they use that knowledge to their advantage. They undervalue the claim and offer you money in hopes you’ll accept right away.

They get to close their file and save money for the company. That’s why you should always speak with an experienced attorney before agreeing to any settlement offers. 

The Process for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

To better understand why a case can take so long to resolve, start by learning the typical steps in wrongful death litigation. 

The first step is to file a complaint with the court, which must be served on the defendants. The defendants have a certain amount of time to respond, where they will typically deny all allegations and opt to fight the lawsuit in discovery. 

The discovery phase can last months or even years, especially if there’s no chance of resolution. This phase is the investigative portion of the case, where both sides exchange documents, conduct depositions, and more.

Before agreeing to set a trial date, the court might order you to partake in various alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration.

It’s worth noting that many wrongful death lawsuits can be resolved through these methods. Mediation or arbitration can be faster and more cost-effective than going to trial, which is often appealing to both parties.

Contact Our New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawyers 

If you want to know more about how long a wrongful death lawsuit takes in New Jersey, contact Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC.

Our attorneys have decades of experience assisting families in wrongful death lawsuits. We aren’t afraid to fight for your rights and be aggressive in the courtroom when necessary.

Please schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you in a wrongful death matter.

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