How long it takes to settle a wrongful death claim will depend on many factors. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for wrongful death under FL § 95.11. If you miss that deadline, Florida law will bar you from getting any compensation for your losses. Make sure that you do not forget about the deadline when negotiating with the insurance company of the liable party.
Factors That Can Affect How Quickly a Wrongful Death Case Settles
We cannot possibly list every item that could have an impact on how long it takes to settle your claim. Here are some of the more common elements to do with the time length of these cases:
- If you are working with a lawyer, your case could settle more quickly. Insurance adjusters tend to treat lawyers more seriously than people who are trying to handle their own claims. Also, adjusters know that lawyers are aware of the deadlines and can file a lawsuit if it does not look as if the case will settle in time.
- Some cases will not settle, and you will have to file a lawsuit to go after money damages under FL § 768.21.
- The instructions and authorization that the adjuster received can control the pace of the case. When an insurance company assigns a claim to an adjuster, the supervisor usually gives the adjuster initial authority to settle the case for a particular amount of money or instructs the adjuster that the company will force the case to litigation. After the adjuster collects more information, the supervisor might modify the settlement authority higher or lower than the original amount.
- If the amount of compensation you seek exceeds the adjuster’s settlement authority and the adjuster thinks that a court would award a lesser amount of money damages, the case will likely go to litigation.
- One of the factors that can take the most time in the negotiation phase of a wrongful death claim is how long it takes for each side to get the information it needs to evaluate the case. For example, if the hospital and doctor’s office take months to comply with a request for the medical records of the deceased person, their slow response will delay the settlement of the case.
- The meter will keep running on the deadline even if you feel that you need to take a break from the wrongful death claim to deal with other issues, like your job and your family. You should not have to juggle all these things at one time. You need time to grieve and to rebuild your life. Working with a lawyer lets you step away from the stress of the wrongful death claim.
At the Montero Law Center, we help people whose loved ones lose their lives because of someone else’s carelessness or wrongful actions. We will treat you with compassion and respect. We will work tirelessly to get the legal beneficiaries all the compensation they deserve. Call us today at (954) 767-6500 for a free consultation and more information about how long it takes to settle a wrongful death claim.