If a person's negligent actions resulted in a loved one's death, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim in civil court. You can receive damages to cover the deceased's medical and funeral expenses, the loss of household income, and even pain and suffering. To prepare for your consultation with an attorney, learn more about the process below.

What Happens When You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

1. Pre-Litigation

Pre-litigation is essentially the preparation phase of a wrongful death suit. First, the estate of the deceased must be established through paperwork filed with the county court. Afterward, your attorney will investigate the circumstances of the death by looking at surveillance footage, medical records, and other evidence that provides a bigger picture of what happened. Next, those deemed responsible for the death will be identified and contacted regarding your intentions to file the civil lawsuit.

2. Negotiations

wrongful deathAfter the liable parties are notified, they might try to resolve the matter out of court. This could benefit you, as it saves on time and litigation costs. Your lawyer will help quantify the damages and negotiate a settlement with the liable individuals.

3. Trial

If you can't reach a settlement, or the liable party doesn't attempt negotiations, your attorney will file an official complaint with the court. The negligent person will be given notice of your intention to sue, and then the case will go to trial. Evidence will be presented to the court, expert witnesses will be called to testify, and others involved will be interrogated to fulfill the burden of proof of the defendant's negligence.


If you want to file a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one, contact the lawyers at Stine & Associates, P.C. in Greensburg, PA. With over two decades of experience, these counselors are dedicated to helping clients in the Westmoreland County area receive compensation for their personal injury cases and the deaths of family members. Read client feedback online, and call (724) 837-0160 for a consultation.