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When Should Families Settle a Wrongful Death Case?



In pop culture, our TV shows condition us to believe an attorney fights for his client all the way to the bitter end, ceasing to rest until his client wins the day in court. While this makes for dramatic TV viewing, reality can be far different.

Settling a case can help the victims of a deceased family member receive millions, all without the stress and pain required at trial. Of course, there are times a trial is necessary, especially when you are being lowballed on a settlement offer. Still, there are times when it is prudent to settle a wrongful death case, and here are just a few examples of when it might be appropriate to do so.

When to Settle a Wrongful Death Case

The most obvious time to consider settling a wrongful death case is when litigation is expected to be ongoing and expensive. The general rule is that the longer the case continues, the higher the attorney fees will be when the case has ended. This cuts into the compensation a grieving Alabama family receives after a wrongful death case.

An ethical Alabama injury attorney will inform the family when a trial will be lengthy. If the settlement offer is fair, this may lead your Alabama injury attorney to advise you that settling the case would be in the family’s best interests. Of course, if the family still wished to go to trial out of principle, an Alabama wrongful death lawyer would carry out the family’s wishes as the client. That said, it is worth pointing out that the litigation process is less expensive when a case is settled as early as possible.

Another advantage of settling is that the damages and compensation received are predictable. Once a settlement amount is agreed upon, the grieving family knows the damages they can expect, minus attorney fees. Trials, on the other hand, are far less predictable. This is because human nature must be factored in by way of the jury decision. A jury may award a plaintiff higher damages than what a defendant offers in settlement, but there is no guarantee of this. An experienced Alabama injury attorney keeps this in mind when advising you on whether to settle or go to trial.

If your wrongful death case is a simple case where liability is easily proven, a trial is likely the best scenario. However, when the case outcome is unpredictable for all parties involved, a settlement out of court is likely the wiser course of action.

Finally, the trial process can take years, and that is a long time for a grieving family to receive deserved compensation. Depending on the family’s financial outlook, it may be wise to expedite the process of receiving compensation by fighting to receive a fair settlement offer.


Noel B. Leonard is an Alabama wrongful death lawyer who advises clients on the best course of action in their wrongful death cases. He has the experience needed to take your case to trial as well as advise you to settle when such a decision is ideal for your case. Noel represents the wrongful death victims of Foley from his office in Foley, and he also represents Alabamans living in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.

Contact Alabama injury attorney Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 if your family is grieving the loss of an Alabama wrongful death, and Noel will fight for your right to receive the compensation you deserve.

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