Settlement or trial is a common question for a range of legal issues, including California wrongful death cases. This important decision effectively does the same thing in bringing about a legal resolution to the case but they do so in dramatically different ways. The distinction can be confusing to a non-lawyer and not surprisingly, the decision between a settlement or a trial can be a difficult one. For this reason among others, it is always best to work with a wrongful death attorney that has experience with both.
So given the choice, how do you know which route to go? Here's a look at some of the more common features individuals and families dealing with the unjustified killing of a loved one are looking for in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Certainty versus larger payout: This is a big distinction that has appeal on both ends. When you leave a settlement, you know exactly what you will be getting from the other party. There are those settlement discussions that of course make you realize that you will need to go to trial but on the whole, settlements come with a much quick and more certain resolution. On the other hand, you can take the gamble and go to trial with the potential to get much more money (also much less) than you would had you settle somewhere along the way.
- Privacy versus visibility: What's important to you- a private settlement or a visible judge or jury award that brings attention to your tragedy? This is a completely personal decision/preference.
- Timeline: For many dealing with the aftermath of an avoidable death, you are not just emotionally drained but you might be financially as well. This is especially try when the deceased was a major (or only) financial contributor to the family. In these cases, something to consider is also going to be how quickly you need the funds from your case. While we always make sure to fully advise our clients of their options throughout the entirety of their case, settlements almost always happen much faster than a trial meaning that you can get the much-needed funds faster.
Want to know more about your options? Give us a call today and we will go over all your options, give you a realistic case review and answer any other questions you might have. All for free. If you are dealing with a wrongful death, we are so sorry for your loss and the situation the actions of another have put you in. We are here to help.