When a lawsuit is started claiming that someone died as a direct result of another person's carelessness, that is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
There are many legal procedures that must be followed in a case involving the death of a friend or family member.
Just to give you a quick overview, we have to get special permission for a family member to be named as the legal representative of the dead person's estate in order to go forward with a lawsuit. We do this by going into a special court called the surrogates court.
The surrogate's court actually oversees the and supervises what happens to any money that is successfully recovered through a wrongful death lawsuit. They want to make sure that the rightful heirs receive the money.
At the end of a wrongful death lawsuit, if we are successful in obtaining compensation either through a settlement or a jury verdict, we must then apply to the surrogate's court for permission to distribute the money to the family members. We do that through a procedure known as a wrongful death compromise order.
It is a somewhat lengthy and tedious procedure filled with lots of documentation that gets submitted to the surrogates court. Technically, this is known as a petition to compromise a wrongful death case. Once the court approves our request, then we can complete the necessary paperwork in order to get you and your family the compensation you have been waiting for.