- Consultation: The first step is to consult with a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling wrongful death cases. During this consultation, the lawyer will gather information about the case, including the circumstances of the death, the identity of the responsible parties, and any available evidence.
- Investigation: After the initial consultation, the lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the case. This may include interviewing witnesses, obtaining medical records, and reviewing other relevant documents.
- Filing a complaint: Once the investigation is complete, the lawyer will file a complaint, or legal claim, on behalf of the deceased person’s estate or surviving family members. The complaint will typically include a detailed description of the facts of the case, the legal theories on which the claim is based, and a request for specific damages.
- Discovery: After the complaint is filed, the parties will engage in a process called discovery. This typically involves exchanging information and evidence through written questions and document requests.
- Negotiations: Before the case goes to trial, the parties may engage in settlement negotiations in an effort to resolve the case without going to court.
- Trial: If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial. At trial, the lawyer will present evidence and call witnesses to prove the case to a judge or jury.
- Appeal: If one of the parties is not satisfied with the outcome of the trial, they may choose to appeal the decision to a higher court.
It is important to note that the process and time frame can vary depending on the jurisdiction, complexity of the case, and the court’s schedule. A wrongful death lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and help you understand the specific laws and procedures that apply to your case.