Anyone who is involved in a wrongful death case will already know the situation can get messy. Whether you’re just beginning a case, are in the middle of it or have just received a settlement, you might have some questions. The following answer some of the most common questions about wrongful death settlements.
- How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Take?
Every wrongful death case is unique. There are different circumstances surrounding each death, with different elements of evidence and different levels of expertise. The length of your case will be determined by all of these factors and more. Some cases last only a few months, while others could take up to several years. Your attorney can help you get an estimated time-frame based on the details of your case.
- Is My Case Promising?
Many wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning their fee is contingent upon winning the case. Because they are paid in this way, you may not find many attorneys willing to take your case unless it is promising. A good lawyer will be honest with you about whether you should pursue a case or not.
- If I Win, Will I Be Taxed?
Any compensatory damages you receive will not be taxed. State laws do vary, but the IRS won’t take a tax from your award. If you receive punitive damages, pain and suffering and other similar damages that are not compensatory, there may be a tax on those.
- What Evidence Do I Need?
Your lawyer will work with you to determine the type and amount of evidence you’ll need to win your case. In many wrongful death cases, photographs are great as evidence, as are medical documents, witness statements and expert testimonies. If you somehow got a statement from the deceased before he or she died, that could be a great bit of information to use as evidence against the accused as well.
- How Long Do I Have to Decide To File a Lawsuit?
Every state has something called the statute of limitations, and it varies from state to state. You may have two years, or you may have five years. It all depends on what your state has decided. There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, so if you’ve missed the deadline, your lawyer may be able to help you find a loophole and still get a lawsuit filed.
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