As about 5,000 workers die on the job every year, it’s common that surviving family members will file a wrongful death suit when the company is at fault. Whether someone died either on the job or as a result of someone else’s negligence, there are a lot of reasons to file a suit. If you’re considering filing a suit but are intimidated by the hurdles to getting justice, you need to know the basics.
Here are the four major steps to filing a wrongful death lawsuit and seeing it through to the end.
1. File The Complaint
Your first step in starting a wrongful death suit is to file your claim. This will start litigation and begin the process wherein you state that you want the issue to be investigated. This is the preliminary part of the legal process and a notice to both the defendant and the state that this is an official suit.
This write of summons commences litigation. This document is called your pleading and it’s necessary to begin a lawsuit. If the other person is guilty, they will seek to end the suit quickly.
2. Deal With The Response
This is where the defendant who the claim is against will respond the summons or the complaint. Either they will have their lawyer contact you to begin the act of coming to an agreement or they will request that you head to the courthouse.
This is the part of the process wherein each side of the lawsuit can ask questions. The interrogatory portion is where you begin finding out what each side will admit to and what they won’t be liable for.
Then you’ll be requesting the production of documents. In writing, you’ll request documentation the either defends or refutes the claim. Depending on which side you’re on, you may not have much to produce. It’s up to the defendant to claim that there was no wrongful death.
Then you’re on to depositions where any witnesses are questioned under oath. Either party may request the ability to speak with witnesses. Each witness is then subject to being questioned by both parties.
4. Pre-Trial and Trial
This is when everything discovered during the last phase is shown to the judge. They will meet with attorneys and ensure that the trial is ready to go on. Then they’ll try to see if the parties want to settle before going to trial.
The trial is where you hash out the details of the case to a jury. If there’s no jury, it’ll be in front of an arbitrator who is a former lawyer or judge. Their verdict will be rendered and the case will end.
After the trial, there’s a chance for appeal or a challenge to the decision. If an appeal is granted, the other party must come with a much stronger case in order to overturn the decision that’s been made.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit Can Be Tough
When you go to file a wrongful death suit, you might not have trouble dealing with the actual paperwork, but thinking about the death might be a challenge for you. Dredging up the memories and having to think about your loved one on a daily basis isn’t easy. Thankfully if you find the right attorney, you can put the work in their hands.
If you need help finding an attorney, contact us today for tips.