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5 Steps To Take In Order To File A Wrongful Death Claim

5 Steps To Take In Order To File A Wrongful Death Claim
Marc Karlin

When a loved one passes away, it is always a painful and difficult experience. When you believe that it was caused by the actions or negligence of another party, it can be especially challenging. In addition to mourning your loss, you will need to go through the process of filing a wrongful death claim. This blog post will outline the steps involved in this process so you understand what you will have to do in the coming days, weeks, or months. Of course, you won’t have to go through these steps alone. The attorneys at Karlin & Karlin are here to help you every step of the way, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Preparing for Litigation

Preparing for a lawsuit is a step known as pre-litigation. This is where the personal representative of the deceased will need to complete a variety of tasks in order to prepare for filing the suit. These tasks include the following:

  • Setting Up the Estate – If it is the estate of the deceased that will file the suit, it must be set up in the courthouse of the county where the deceased lived.
  • Investigation – An investigation into the facts surrounding what caused the death should be performed. This will typically be done by an attorney, with the assistance of any experts that are needed.
  • Identifying & Notifying Responsible Parties – Your attorney will need to identify the parties believed to be responsible for the death, and notify them of the intent to file a lawsuit.

Negotiation & Settling

This step does not occur in every case, but in many of them, the party who you plan to file a suit against will want to attempt to settle the matter out of court. This is often a good option as it can eliminate the risk of losing the lawsuit, while still getting a fair settlement. If an agreement can’t be made in this phase, you will maintain the right to push forward with the wrongful death suit. The majority of the negotiation will be done by your attorney, who will consult with you about important decisions.

Filing the Suit

If negotiations aren’t successful, it is time to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This starts when you file a Complaint or Writ of Summons, which is done through the courthouse. All named defendants will be served with this information.


The litigation phase of the lawsuit will include multiple different tasks, including a discovery phase, interrogations, requests for documentation, and more. This is also the phase where the pre-trial, trial, and/or arbitration are conducted. Throughout this phase, it is possible to continue negotiating to seek a settlement that both parties can accept. If no settlement can be made, litigation will continue until the trial is completed. When done, the judge or jury will issue their verdict. Based on this verdict, an award will be assigned.

Here for You Every Step of the Way

Karlin & Karlin will be here for you throughout every step of the wrongful death lawsuit. We will not only negotiate and investigate on your behalf, but we will also be there to advise you on the best path forward. To discuss your specific case, please give us a call at 213-348-7281 today.

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