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How Long Does It Take To Settle A Wrongful Death Claim?

Making a Wrongful Death Claim

If you have a loved one who has passed away due to negligence or because of an accident, you may pursue a wrongful death claim.

There are many reasons to talk with an attorney if you think you have a wrongful death case. The amount of time it can take to settle this type of claim varies from several months to two years.

What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim occurs when the family of a loved one pursues compensation for damages after their loved one passes away due to the negligence of another individual or company.

A wrongful death may occur at work or while on public or private property. Car accidents are another cause of wrongful death.


Many wrongful death claims are due to negligence. Examples of negligence include:

  • An employee dies because their employer failed to create a safe workspace.
  • A distracted driver gets into an accident, causing someone else to die.
  • A store owner exposes their customers to hazardous materials.

You may also have a case for a wrongful death claim if your loved one passed away due to medical malpractice.

Negligence must be proved in court, making a good personal injury lawyer familiar with such cases important.

Accidental Death

Accidents are tragic. However, you can submit a wrongful death claim even if your loved one’s death was purely accidental.

In all wrongful death cases, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant is liable for the accident. Working with a lawyer who thoroughly understands wrongful death cases is important to ensure proper representation and larger compensation than not having one.

Wrongful Death Accident

Who May File A Wrongful Death Claim?

Any immediate family member may file a wrongful death claim in the State of Louisiana. This includes spouses, children, siblings, parents, and grandparents.

Filing a wrongful death claim allows you to seek damages to help cover costs related to the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of future income

Other factors considered in a wrongful death suit include loss of companionship and compensation for travel expenses.

The court will take into account many factors when awarding damages, including the life expectancy of the parties, the closeness of the parties to the deceased, and the amount of income the deceased earned. These are just a few factors, as every case is unique.

How Long Does The Claim Take To Settle?

In any wrongful death claim, the victim’s loved ones are dealing with grief and emotional repercussions. On top of that, they often have financial worries. It is difficult to wait for a case to be settled.

Everyone wants the case to be settled as quickly as possible, including your lawyer. Unfortunately, wrongful death case timelines are difficult to predict. Some cases are concluded in a manner of a few short months, while others may take several years.

Your wrongful death case’s progression and resolution may depend on multiple factors, such as how well both parties cooperate with each other and their willingness to negotiate. If the defendant in the case is allowed bail, that may also impact the case’s outcome.

Once your wrongful death case is settled, the at-fault party’s insurers will send a check to your attorney. Attorney fees and other legal costs are deducted, and you will receive a check according to the settlement agreement.

Claims Take time to File

Is A Wrongful Death Claim A Criminal Case?

It is important to note that a wrongful death claim is not the same as a criminal charge, although a criminal charge can be brought against the defendant at the same time. For example, the State of Louisiana may bring the defendant up on charges of negligent homicide.

A wrongful death claim is a civil case brought by citizens, businesses, or organizations. The outcome will never be jail time. A government entity must bring criminal charges.

If the defendant is involved in a criminal case, this can lengthen the time to resolve your wrongful death claim because it may have to wait until the criminal case is settled.

Do You Need Representation In A Wrongful Death Claim?

If you are considering a wrongful death claim, you need a good lawyer by your side. It helps to have a lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of this type of case, as well as one who can show compassion and empathy during this difficult time.

Chip Forstall has won millions for his clients in wrongful death claims in the State of Louisiana. He is familiar with these types of cases and works tirelessly to make things right for his clients.

Contact Chip Forstall for your FREE consultation regarding a wrongful death claim in Louisiana.

The Chip Forstall law offices advocate for the rights of wrongful death survivors, injured pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and more. Call us today for a free consultation.

PHONE   |    504-483-3400
FAX   |   504-483-3447

320 North Carrollton Ave, Suite 200

New Orleans, LA 70119

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