Bay Point Wrongful Death Lawyer
The thought of losing a loved one is heartbreaking, but learning that they died in an accident is even more devastating. Grief, anger, helplessness and disbelief are common reactions among families in this situation. There can be an uneasiness about how the family will pay for their expenses in some cases, especially when the deceased provided financial support.
Those are the situations where wrongful death lawsuits can help. You may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party if the person's death was the result of the negligence of another. Wrongful death claims are typically filed by the family and handled by a lawyer.Why Should My Family Place a Claim for Wrongful Death?
Many families in Contra Costa County have come to us after they lost loved ones due to wrongful death, and we have been able to assist them in recovering compensation.
When you file a wrongful death claim, your family can move forward without experiencing financial hardship caused by the death of your loved one. Family members will never feel fully relieved of the pain, but they can take comfort in the fact that the at-fault person is being dealt with and held responsible for their actions.Getting Free Information About Your Case
At our law firm, your grieving family is kept updated throughout the process with sensitivity to their loss. You can arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with us either virtually or in person, so we can talk about your case, find out what damages may be available to you and answer your questions.What Are the Causes of a Wrongful Death?
Besides falls, traffic accidents are the second highest cause of a wrongful death. The following types of negligence may be involved in traffic accidents that result in the loss of a loved one for a family:
- The use of alcohol or drugs while operating a motor vehicle is still a leading cause of wrongful death, even after extensive public education and a clampdown by law enforcement.
- Several reckless driving behaviors are responsible for accidents, such as tailgating, speeding or cutting in and out of traffic. Failure to yield, racing, and passing on the wrong side are also examples of reckless driving.
- Texting, talking on the phone and using a GPS are all forms of distracted driving that leads to accidents. The driver's vehicle travels the length of a football field in just five seconds when they send a text message. It's enough time for a car wreck to occur.
- Red-light or stop-sign running causes many intersection collisions.
- The dangers of fatigued driving are nearly as great as those of drug or alcohol use while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Tired drivers have a tendency to cross into another lane, react slowly to potential hazards and fall asleep behind the wheel.
If someone is killed by negligence and the cause of the fatality is an accident or intentional act, it is considered a wrongful death. An experienced Bay Point wrongful death attorney can help you receive the compensation your family deserves. Accidents involving motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are not the only causes of wrongful deaths, they can also occur in:
- Defective or hazardous products, such as a car part, food, medication or piece of furniture
- There are many accidents involving common carriers, such as bus or train collisions and airplane crashes
- Farm and construction site accidents caused by negligence
- Whether bitten by a dog or pushed down by it, attacks that result in death
- Companies such as Lyft and Uber that provide ridesharing services and are negligent
- A premises liability-related fatality that occurs on a property due to a fall or another danger such as a stairwell, elevator, escalator, sidewalk or parking lot
In California, wrongful death claims can be filed in two ways. A personal representative of the estate or any member of the immediate family may file under sections 377.60 - 377.62 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, including:
- It is possible for the surviving or putative spouse to file a claim for wrongful death.
- Minors whose support was obtained directly from the decedent can file claims. These include biological and adopted children, step-children, etc., as long as they obtained at least 50 percent of their support from the deceased person.
- If an offspring of the decedent has predeceased, their children may file a claim.
- If the decedent's parents received at least half of their support from him or her, they may also join the lawsuit.
A Bay Point wrongful death lawyer can work with you to determine the type of damages you can recover based on the decedent's income, age and other factors. The following types of damages are commonly awarded:
- Funeral expenses and burial costs can be recovered from the family of a deceased loved one following a wrongful death.
- Income or salary earned by the decedent can be recovered up to their normal retirement age. Among the benefits that are included in the recovery of wages are insurance coverage, pensions, bonuses, tips and other perks. The families of self-employed individuals can use tax filings and receipts to support their claim.
- A surviving spouse may be able to claim loss of consortium of their loved one as well as compensation for their love and emotional support.
- The children of the decedent who received at least half their support from the deceased may be able to claim the loss of guidance and nurturing that was provided and has now been lost.
- Damages may be recoverable if there is a loss of inheritance. This is the amount the beneficiaries would have been entitled to if the decedent lived.
- Household services that the decedent provided such as childcare, tax prep and others can be compensated.
- When a loved one dies after living for some period of time, family members can choose to file a survival action. An action for survival is similar to a wrongful death claim, but it also covers the costs of the deceased's health care before they died.
- Punitive damages may be requested by the family if the fatality was on purpose or egregious. Punitive damages do not compensate the family for their loss. These awards are meant to punish the offender and deter further behavior of this type.
Attorney Ed Smith discusses filing a wrongful death claim in this video:
The following articles by attorney Ed Smith about wrongful death may be helpful:
I am Ed Smith, and I'm a Bay Point wrongful death lawyer. You have the right to file a wrongful death claim when your loved one died because of someone else's negligence. It may not be able to ease your grieving process, but it can help relieve the financial burden a family bears when a loved one passes. Our compassionate, free and friendly advice is available by calling (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. We also welcome online inquiries. We will be glad to answer your questions, review your case and discuss your options. See how we've helped others obtain the compensation they deserve by visiting our Settlements and Verdicts page.
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