Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If someone you love recently died as a result of someone else’s actions, you probably are currently considering filing a wrongful death claim. This is a very delicate time, but you are likely owed compensation for the death of your loved one. A big question likely on your mind is whether or not you will have to appear in court if you file this lawsuit. This guide will answer this question.
The Plaintiff in Court
If you file a wrongful death claim, you will be the plaintiff in the case, while whoever caused the death will be the defendant. Typically, the plaintiff does need to be present in court for every day court is in session. In some cases, if the plaintiff does not appear in court, the whole case may be dismissed by the judge. If this happens, the plaintiff often has the option to file the claim again.
Wrongful death cases are a bit unusual, however. Technically, the claim is being filed on behalf of the deceased, rather than by the plaintiff directly. This may create a bit more leniency in regards to whether you need to be present or not. Especially considering the difficult time you will be in, a special exception might be made for you.
However, the most important thing is that you get permission from the judge, rather than just assuming it is okay. You should be in communication with your attorney on this matter and have your attorney officially ask permission from the judge. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the judge’s personal preferences, a decision will be made. The judge may be more accepting of this proposal if circumstances make it difficult for you to travel to the courthouse.
Appearing in Court
Even if you do have to appear in court, you should rest assured that your contribution will be minimal, assuming you have an attorney you trust. Your attorney will handle the legal matters for you and will prepare you for everything you will have to do in court prior to your appearance. In some cases, you might have to testify or confirm some matters for the judge. Your attorney will be the one making your argument and presenting all the evidence.
Never make any decisions without your attorney. Additionally, never try to bring your case to trial without an attorney. Representing yourself is an incredibly difficult challenge. An attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer in Bloomington, IL, will be the one you can depend on throughout your wrongful death case.
Thank you to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into wrongful death law.