Few wrongful death claims lead to a trial in Columbus. Most of the time, personal injury claims and wrongful death claims are settled out of court without ever going to trial.
Sometimes, settlement is in the best interest of the decedent’s estate in a Columbus wrongful death claim, for many reasons. Anytime someone files a lawsuit and prepares for trial, there is a certain amount of preparation required. Depending on the type of claim, expert testimony is needed, depositions must be taken, and court filings need to be submitted to prove a wrongful death claim. All of these things cost money that would be subtracted from the judgment you might receive in trial. It can be costly to go to trial. There is an emotional cost and an economic cost. Considering these costs, it sometimes makes sense to settle rather than go to trial.
Whether or not to settle or sue is always the family’s decision. To better understand the advantages of trial versus settling wrongful death claims in Columbus, you may find it useful to work with our dedicated legal team. Our lawyers will help you navigate the legal process to help you get the most amount of compensation possible.
How an Attorney Could Help Family’s Make Their Decision
A Columbus wrongful death lawyer will help a family weigh their options between trial or settlement. We will talk to them about past jury verdicts with similar cases, and what those verdicts or judgments were. Your lawyer will also discuss the costs that are necessary for trial and what the court process will be like. The lawyer also discusses whether the settlement offer is fair, considering the jury verdict and judgments in the area where their suit is filed.
One of the most important things to for the family to do when filing a claim is to have a good idea of their goals . If they come together as a family and they have a clear idea of what they want prior to negotiations, that can help them resolve the case. If you and your family go to the negotiation table without a clear idea of what you want, or nobody wants the same thing, that creates complications.
How Long do Settlement Negotiations Last?
The length of wrongful death settlement negotiations vary depending on the type of claim. Sometimes, negotiations go fast once the proper evidence has been collected, and other times they can take longer. In wrongful death settlement negotiations, multiple family members are involved who suffered because of the loss of a loved one. Occasionally, there is no agreement about the end goal. Having your family members all on the same page can help negotiations go more efficiently and help you make the ultimate determination between settling a wrongful death claim or taking it to trial.
Wrongful Death Trials in Columbus
Judges preside over all trials decide what evidence the jury can and cannot see. The judge also determines what questions can or cannot be asked and they may make some rulings of law towards evidentiary matters along the way. They might also make rulings on whether the plaintiff or the estate has sufficiently shown enough evidence to meet the burden of proof that there was a duty on the wrongdoer, that the wrongdoer breached that duty, and that the damage proximately resulted.
A wrongful death lawsuit that goes to trial could be decided in either a bench trial or a jury trial. A bench trial does not have a jury, and the judge makes the evidentiary and legal findings. The judge is also the finder of fact. The Judge decides whether the burden of proof is met, the person was negligent, committed a wrongful act, or was intentional. The judge also determines the amount of money to compensate for damages the family suffered.
However, a jury trial is comprised of a jury of peers. In a civil trial in Columbus, Ohio, a jury of eight people make the determinations of fact in the claim, whether the individual was negligent, and whether a certain monetary award should be awarded for specific losses the next of kin suffered. They make the determination about whether the person responsible for the death was actually responsible for the death and determine the amount of compensation to award the family members for their loss.
Let an Attorney Help Your Family
It is important to have our experienced Columbus lawyers working with you on a settlement negotiation or a trial. First, a lawyer can swiftly collect evidence. The evidence is examined by the judge at a bench trial, and by the jury for a jury trial to determine whether the person is responsible for the death and also to determine damages. Getting that information quickly is important whether someone is negotiating the case or going to trial.
Additionally, an experienced attorney for a settlement negotiation is that they have knowledge of settlement negotiation. The lawyers in our firm have negotiated thousands of personal injury claims and wrongful death actions. To have somebody experienced in negotiation is important. To determine whether trial versus settling a wrongful death claim in Columbus is right for you, schedule an initial consultation to get started. Call now.