How Long Will My Wrongful Death Case Take?

Wrongful death cases can take anywhere from several months to several years– the most significant factor that determines how long these cases take is whether or not they settle or go to trial. Even that statement can be somewhat misleading, though, because many settlements can take several years as well. At Douglas and London, we have years of experience and a track record of success in wrongful death cases. We can handle the complex process so you can focus on healing.

What is your goal? 

Typically, the quickest path to a resolution is you do not hire an attorney– and you accept the first offer extended by the other party and settle on the spot. However, in doing so, you run the risk of leaving a significant amount of money on the table– by accepting an offer much lower than what you could have gotten with some patience and guidance from skilled representatives.

Going it alone and attempting to settle with the other party will likely result in you being paid pennies on the dollar at best. On the other hand, by hiring a qualified New York City wrongful death lawyer, you take a valuable step towards maximizing your financial recovery for this tragedy. 

What you can expect

Assuming you do not accept the initial low-ball settlement offer, you should be prepared for a long process. It could take several years to achieve the justice you and your family deserve either through a settlement or trial.

Once you begin preparing for trial, several steps add time to the overall process: 

  • Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, discovery may be relatively simple, or it could drag out over an extended period.
  • Scheduling and then completing multiple depositions typically extend the process. 
  • The more pleadings that need to be filed, the longer the legal process will take. 
  • The more hearings that need to be scheduled and conducted, the longer this will last.
  • The trial itself can vary in its duration based on how many witnesses need to be called and the amount of evidence presented. 
  • Even after a ruling at trial, both parties have the right to appeal, causing the legal process to drag out even more. 

Other factors that determine how long your case may take

Every case is unique, so every case has its own unique set of facts and circumstances. Some factors that will play a role in determining how long your case takes include the following: 

  • Is the link between causality, liability, and damages relatively simple, or is it more complicated?
  • How much evidence do you already have, and how much more evidence do you still need to prove your case? As a general rule of thumb, the more evidence you still need to obtain, the longer your case will take. 
  • Is it clear that only one party is either liable or are there multiple parties that could be at least partially liable? 
  • Did your loved one pass away shortly after the injury, or did they continue to live for an extended period? In general, the longer they lived after the injury, the more complex your case will be, and the longer it will take to resolve. 

Call us at Douglas and London today for a free consultation

With over $4 Billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients, Douglas and London have the proven results-oriented track record that you can trust. If you tragically find yourself having to file a wrongful death case, reach out to us today to learn more about your options. We are available 24 hours a day, and we offer initial consultations at zero cost to you. You will not pay us a dime unless you win.