Pros and Cons of Going to Trial for a Wrongful Death Claim

When family members pursue a wrongful death claim to seek justice, most cases are settled outside of court. However, there is a possibility it will go to trial, and here are the pros and cons.

Pros of Going to Trial for a Wrongful Death Claim

Pros of Going to Trial for a Wrongful Death Claim

Here are some potential pros of trying a wrongful death claim in court:

  • Accountability: Pursuing a wrongful death claim in court can provide a sense of justice for the family of the deceased. 
  • Greater Compensation: Trials often result in more significant awards than out-of-court settlements. This is because, in a trial, the plaintiff (victim’s family) has the opportunity to present their case to a judge or jury, which can lead to a higher verdict.
  • Opportunity for Closure: Trials can provide closure to the family members because they know that they have done everything in their power to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
  • Awareness: Bringing a wrongful death claim to court can raise awareness about the dangers of the negligence that led to the death. This can help to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future and can contribute to a safer community.

Cons of Going to Trial for a Wrongful Death Claim:

There are several cons to consider before going to trial for a wrongful death claim:

  • Lengthy Process: Trials can take months or even years to complete, which can be emotionally draining for the deceased’s family members.
  • Uncertainty: Trials are unpredictable, and there is no guarantee that the plaintiff will win the case. Even if the evidence is strong, the case could still be dismissed, or the plaintiff may not receive the compensation they hoped to recover. 
  • High Costs: Trials can be expensive. If the plaintiff loses the case, they may also be responsible for paying the defendant’s (at-fault party’s) legal fees as well.

Reasons Why Your Wrongful Death Case Might Go to Trial

There are several reasons why a wrongful death case may go to trial. Here are some of the most common:

Dispute Over Liability

One of the leading reasons a wrongful death case goes to trial is because there is a dispute over who is responsible for the death. If the defendant denies liability, it may be necessary to go to trial to prove fault.

Inability to Reach a Settlement

If the parties are unable to reach a settlement through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, a trial may be necessary to resolve the case.

Dispute Over Evidence

If there is a dispute over the admissibility or interpretation of evidence, going to trial may be necessary to resolve the issue.

Strategic Reasons

Sometimes, going to trial can be a strategic decision. For example, if the plaintiff believes they have a strong case for which a jury will feel sympathy, they may choose to go to trial to seek a larger settlement or award. Similarly, the defendant may decide to go to trial if they believe they have a strong defense or want to discourage future lawsuits.

If you are considering or pursuing a wrongful death claim, it is critical to consult an experienced Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer. They can review your case and help you decide whether it is in your best interests to settle or go to trial. 

"When I felt all hope was lost, I contacted Graham Scofield to see if he could represent me. He immediately called me back and thoroughly reviewed with me the case. He was the most patient, kind, sympathetic and the upmost professional attorney throughout the entire process. He was also extremely knowledgeable about the law and was creative when the case worked through the twists and turns. He was also a heck of a fighter for me and got me more settlement than I was expecting. I only wish I called him sooner! Thank you so much Graham, you are an amazing lawyer!!"
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