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Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm.
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What to Expect in a Wrongful Death Claim


Almost everyone can expect a settlement in a wrongful death claim. About 96 percent of civil cases settle out of court. Usually, settlement is a much better alternative to trial, especially in emotionally-charged matters like wrongful death cases. Emotional courtroom showdowns benefit no one, except lawyers who charge by the hour. Moreover, an out-of-court settlement gives survivors much more control over the outcome.

Additionally, for a Sugar Land wrongful death lawyer, an out-of-court settlement is consistent with the mission of a wrongful death claim. Fundamentally, these claims help survivors obtain closure, so they can move on with their lives. At this point, moving on is the best anyone can do. The compensation that an attorney obtains, such as money for lost future emotional and financial support, helps as well.

Pre-Filing Settlement Negotiations

A good Missouri City personal injury lawyer ever runs to the courthouse, files legal paperwork, and starts the complex legal process. Instead, a good attorney diligently builds a strong case and tries the easy way first.

Evidence in a wrongful death claim usually includes medical bills, the police accident report and witness statements. Sometimes, one area, such as the police accident report, is inadequate.

Police reports are often inaccurate in vehicle collision wrongful death claims. The reporting officer only heard one side of the story.

Attorneys often turn to electronic evidence, such as a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder, in these situations. These onboard computers measure and store vehicle speed, steering angle, and other important operational information. Once a lawyer puts this evidence together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the case is ready to go to the next phase.

This next phase is usually pre-filing settlement negotiation. Sometimes, the defendant folds faster than Superman on laundry day, and the case settles quickly. Usually, however, defendants delay the process as long as possible.

The Pretrial Process

In these situations, attorneys must file legal paperwork, mostly to put pressure on the defendant to settle. In response, defendants usually file procedural motions which seek to throw the wrongful death claim out of court.

The pretrial process, as outlined above, is very important at this point. Students who don’t do their homework usually fail tests. Likewise, lawyers who don’t do their homework often lose pretrial motions. At best, they must start over from square one. At worst, the judge will refuse to hear the matter at all.


If a case remains unresolved as the trial date approaches, most Harris County judges ask professional mediators to supervise settlement negotiations.

At mediation, both sides have a duty to negotiate in good faith. They must honestly try to settle the matter, instead of saying something like “I’ll see you in court.” This effort usually involves compromise. A good lawyer knows when to compromise and when to stand firm.

Mostly because of the good faith negotiation duty, and also because most insurance company defense lawyers charge by the hour and the company wants to cut its losses, mediation is about 90 percent successful in Texas.

Reach Out to a Hard-Working Harris County Attorney

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.


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