Antelope Wrongful Death Lawyer

Coffin

Accidents involving the wrongful death of a loved one happen more often than we care to realize. A 15-year-old passenger was killed when the 18-year-old driver attempted a sweeping left curve at high speed in Antelope. The tragic accident occurred on Antelope North Road about 700 feet south of Poker Lane, according to the SacBee. In the blink of an eye, an innocent young life was taken as the result of a reckless decision by the operator of a motor vehicle.

If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident due to someone else's negligence, call our Antelope wrongful death attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly and compassionate advice.

Losing Someone Unexpectedly

The family members and friends of the teenage passenger were devastated. Losing someone in a sudden, unexpected accident саuѕеѕ tremendous pain, turmоіl, аnd mental anguish. It is often difficult for grieving family members tо funсtіоn properly іn еvеrуdау lіfе аnd саrrу оn. Thе dесеdеnt'ѕ family is probably left feeling роwеrlеss. This is where an Antelope wrongful death lawyer can be of service. While you focus on getting through the grieving process, your accident attorney can focus on contacting the irresponsible driver's insurance company, filing the necessary paperwork, and initiating a lawsuit.

Forms of Compensation You Can Pursue 

Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is referred to as "damages." There are two types of damages - economic damages and non-economic damages. The types of damage you may be able to pursue include medical bills (if, for example, the decedent was transported and treated at a hospital for emergency medical treatment before their passing), costs associated with the funeral and burial of your loved one, their future earnings (especially if they were of working age and a primary provider to their family), and the emotional damage associated with losing a loved one.

Compensation for Future Earnings

The amount of damages for future earnings could result in a substantial amount, depending on the age and chosen profession of the decedent. For example, if the decedent was 45 years old, it is reasonable to assume that they had another 20 years left to work and generate income. Their salary at the time of death was $50,000 per year, which means a future earnings award could approach $1 million. Your Antelope personal injury lawyer should be able to retain the services of experienced economists and experts to properly project the amount of future earnings of your loved one.

Antelope Wrongful Death Lawsuits

It's also important to remember that California courts have declared that damages for wrongful death are not limited to losses with a specific economic value. Instead, the measure of damages is the value of the benefits the heirs may expect to obtain from the deceased if they lived. See Allen v. Toledo, (198) 109 Cal.App.3d 415, 423.

Watch the following video to learn more about wrongful death claims.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit May Only Be Brought by Specific Individuals

Some ask if it is possible to file multiple wrongful death lawsuits for one decedent. Generally, that is not allowed. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60 states that only a specific list of individuals can legally file a wrongful death claim. Those individuals include:

  • The surviving spouse or domestic partner, if the decedent was married at the time of death
  • Any child of the decedent
  • If there are no surviving children or surviving spouse, then any person who would be entitled to the decedent's property through intestate succession laws
  • The decedent's personal representative, on behalf of those authorized to bring the suit
What Must Be Proven in Court to Prevail Against the Reckless Party

The death of your loved one in an accident does not automatically mean you will receive financial restitution from the insurance company or a jury. There are legal hurdles put in place that a plaintiff must overcome to prevail in a civil lawsuit against a defendant.

What Needs to Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Claim

First, you need to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to your loved one. For example, the operator of a motor vehicle must comply with all local traffic laws and regulations. If they fail to do so and someone is killed, that is considered a breach of duty, which is the second element you need to prove in a wrongful death case. You need to show that the defendant violated the law in some way to help establish liability. 

Once there is sufficient evidence of a breach, your Antelope wrongful death lawyer must show that the defendant's reckless actions caused your loved one's death, which is relatively simple in most cases. Finally, you need to introduce sufficient evidence of damages. Again, this should not be difficult to meet since the sudden loss of a loved one in an accident significantly harms a family.

Will My Wrongful Death Go to Trial Go to Court?

A common question asked is whether a wrongful death claim will need to be resolved in court or if it will be resolved via settlement. There is a good chance that your wrongful death claim will be resolved through settlement or mediation without going through with a full-fledged jury trial. In fact, most personal injury cases are resolved out of court instead of going before a jury. Nevertheless, no injury lawyer should guarantee that your case will settle because each case is different, and a jury trial may be necessary to obtain the financial restitution you rightly deserve.

No Legal Fee if No Financial Recovery for You

You may be struggling financially due to the loss of your loved one. You may have concerns overpaying hefty legal fees to retain an Antelope wrongful death lawyer. Have no worries. Wrongful death lawyers rarely, if ever, charge an hourly rate for their services. They also do not require you to pay a hefty retainer fee. 

Instead, personal injury and wrongful death attorneys operate on a "contingency fee." Your lawyer's fee will be deducted from the final settlement or verdict you would receive for your injury or wrongful death claim. If your attorney loses or cannot obtain money on your behalf, they generally will not require payment from you for their legal services.

Take Legal Action Right Now 

In California, there is a finite time in which a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. Gеnеrаllу wіthіn twо years оf thе dаtе оf death. It is even shorter if your loved one was killed by a city or state government vehicle (e.g., a city bus) operator. An administrative claim must be filed within six months of the incident. As you can see, swift and immediate action is strongly recommended.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Antelope, CA

If someone important to you has passed away due to someone else's negligent or careless actions, please contact our Antelope wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible by calling (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our accident attorneys can provide free, friendly advice about moving forward with a wrongful death claim.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client reviews on AvvoGoogle, and Yelp and our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.16.22]

:sb bw [cs 1191] 

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
★★★★★
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
★★★★★
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
★★★★★
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
★★★★★
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
★★★★★
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.