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Brentwood Wrongful Death Lawyer

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The unexpected death of a close relative due to a catastrophic accident can be devastating. The mental anguish from the loss can be compounded with anger and frustration if surviving family members suspect that their loved one died because of someone else’s negligence. If you have lost a loved one in these circumstances, you may have many questions regarding your loss and unsure who to turn to for legal advice. Please know that our team of wrongful death attorneys is here to provide the answers you and your family need during this difficult time.

Our wrongful death attorneys in Brentwood are committed to helping families hold negligent parties accountable for the irreplaceable loss of their loved ones. Call us today for free, friendly legal advice at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. We would be honored to help you and your family.

Our wrongful death law firm is available anytime to listen to your story and hold the at-fault party accountable for your loss. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Our legal team is here to answer your questions and protect your family from difficult insurance companies and defense attorneys. We are committed to providing you the support and guidance your family needs in your time of loss and grief. We handle wrongful death cases on a contingency fee arrangement, meaning your family pays nothing unless we obtain fair compensation on your behalf.

What is a Wrongful Death Case?

Wrongful death occurs when a loss of life occurs because of another individual or entity's recklessness or negligence. When a wrongful death claim arises after a fatal accident, it may be brought by the decedent’s surviving family members as a civil case in court for compensatory damages. These serve as the civil system’s measure of justice to make the family whole again. No amount of compensation can bring a lost loved one back or undo the pain from the loss. Survivors may seek recovery of the following economic and non-economic damages:

  • Costs of funeral and burial services
  • Medical expenses for end-of-life care
  • Loss of support, protection, care, and companionship
  • Lost future earnings, benefits, and inheritance
  • Mental anguish and emotional trauma

In some extreme cases of wrongful death, punitive damages may be sought to punish the negligent individual for their egregious conduct. The purpose of punitive damages is to make an example out of the at-fault party and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. In the case of a wrongful death car accident, an attorney may seek punitive damages if the fatal crash occurred because of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) or excessive speeding.

How are Wrongful Death Damages Proven?

A skilled attorney may retain an expert witness such as an economist to help quantify economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit and provide an accurate projection in such factors such as the loss of future financial support. The decedent’s future income may be calculated by considering their age, health, education, and employment. Non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship, are often challenging to prove since many factors must be established to prove the impact of a loved one’s wrongful death on their family.

If all the factors in a wrongful death case are not considered, a reasonable value of compensatory damages may not be awarded by the jury for the loss. That is why it is essential to retain an experienced lawyer to calculate damages in a wrongful death action.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Suits in California?

A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed with the court up to two years after the fatal accident, as outlined in the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. While the two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in California may seem like a long time, delays in seeking legal representation may allow for the loss or destruction of compelling evidence needed to prove the case. Conversely, not accepting a settlement from the insurance company and failing to file a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations may result in a judge dismissing the case from court.

A skilled Brentwood wrongful death attorney can help surviving family members with all aspects of their case, including understanding strict filing criteria and deadlines, gathering critical evidence, and building a strong claim for compensation. You should retain an attorney who you can depend on to handle your case while you focus on grieving your loss and taking care of your family.

Which Surviving Family Members Can File for Wrongful Death in California?

In California, only specific relatives can file for the wrongful death of a loved one. This includes the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children. If a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children exist, then other relatives of the deceased may bring a claim for wrongful death damages. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, this may include the putative spouse, parents, stepchildren, and putative spouse’s children.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to bring a claim, contact a Brentwood wrongful death attorney today. For details on how to find the best wrongful death lawyer in Brentwood to handle your case and protect your best interests, watch the video below.

How Long Will It Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death case in Brentwood may be settled in or out of court in Contra Costa County within months or even years. When liability is clear, insurance companies may resolve cases out of court. However, if there is a dispute regarding negligence, high bodily injury liability coverage, or the cause of the decedent’s fatal injuries, those wrongful death cases may be taken to trial. In some situations, the insurance company representing the negligent party may make a lowball settlement offer, and the case may proceed to litigation.

The amount of time for which a wrongful death claim is settled varies from case to case due to the unique facts and circumstances involved. If you would like to bring a claim for justice and compensation on behalf of your loved one, you should discuss your case with a Brentwood wrongful death lawyer experienced in the wrongful death claims process in California.

Speak to a Brentwood Wrongful Death Attorney

Since 1982, our legal team has worked with Brentwood families to help deal with wrongful death in the family. We understand how devastating and painful such a loss can be. For this reason, our wrongful death attorneys want to hold the at-fault parties responsible for their wrongdoing. Our law firm has obtained fair compensation on behalf of Brentwood families of those who were wrongfully killed, and we are prepared to do the same for your family.

While the time after losing a loved one is not the time you may want to deal with legal matters, you may increase your chances of a favorable outcome in a wrongful death claim by taking quick action. Once you call our law firm to represent you and your families’ best interests, our team of Brentwood wrongful death lawyers can get to work and help alleviate some of the burdens you all have experienced. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your family today.

Image by Joey Velasquez from Pixabay 

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