Carmichael Wrongful Death Lawyer
Hundreds of thousands of people suffer wrongful death accidents and lose their lives. Wrongful death can be defined as the death of an individual caused by negligent actions or inaction of another party. Wrongful deaths can occur due to various situations, including car accidents, motorcycle wrecks, truck accidents, boating accidents, medical malpractice, etc.
If you have lost someone you love due to an accident caused by the negligence of another individual or company, it is essential to consult a wrongful death lawyer right away to discuss your legal options and learn whether it makes sense to move forward with a wrongful death claim against that party.Recoverable Damages Through a Wrongful Death Claim
The types of harm and losses that can be recovered through a wrongful death claim include the following:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Medical bills of the decedent if treated for the accident-related injury before death
- Loss of any financial support that the decedent provided
- Any anxiety or emotional stress that one experiences due to the sudden loss of a loved one (i.e., pain and suffering)
In wrongful death lawsuits, the burden is on the plaintiff (i.e., the estate representative) to prove that the defendant was negligent in obtaining financial recovery. This means your lawyer must present sufficient evidence to meet the legal elements of negligence. These elements include:
- A duty of care – this element requires that you prove the defendant owed a legal obligation to your lost loved one. For example, all drivers of automobiles owe a duty of care to other drivers to operate their vehicles reasonably.
- Breach of duty - You must prove the defendant breached the duty of care described above. For example, if your loved one were hit and killed by an intoxicated or distracted driver, that would breach the duty to operate their vehicle reasonably safely.
- Causation – You must prove that the defendant's negligence was the proximate cause of your loved one's death.
- Damages – You must submit evidence of actual damages. In the context of a wrongful death claim, this is a reasonably straightforward element to satisfy since most people understand the tremendous harm associated with losing a loved one.
The following video provides more insights into a wrongful death claim.How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?
Researching injury lawyers and deciding to pursue a wrongful death claim must be accomplished efficiently. This is due to California's statutes of limitations that apply to various civil claims directly affecting whether an individual can file a lawsuit. In fact, the following are three essential statutes of limitations to be aware of when dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit.
- If someone you love suffered fatal injuries in a car accident, motorcycle accident, boating accident, tractor-trailer accident, etc., you can only file a lawsuit within two years of your loved one's death. This is by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1.
- If your loved one's death resulted from surgical negligence, California gives an individual three years from the date of death to file a claim against a negligent doctor or other healthcare professional by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5.
- If your loved one suffered fatal injuries relating to an accident involving a state or city vehicle, a claim against the government must be filed within a six-month window of the accident.
If you are unsure about taking legal action due to a concern that you will not win your case and thereby harm your loved one's memory, look at the provided example below of one family that stood up and pursued justice on behalf of the person they love in a wrongful death lawsuit.
A California jury awarded $15 million to the family members of two pedestrians killed by a semi-truck driver while crossing an intersection. In this tragic case, the commercial truck driver blocked a crosswalk at an intersection. The big rig operator backed up the truck, allowing people to cross the street before him. The people at the crosswalk did not cross immediately, instead waiting for their light to signal that they could cross. When the light turned green, they started to cross. This is where tragedy reared its ugly head.
The commercial truck operator pulled up, intending to turn right, but his signal was not on. As the vehicle turned, the front of the commercial truck hit the two people attempting to cross and rolled over them. This impact caused their untimely deaths, according to Bakersfield Now. The victims left behind two children, and the jury awarded each child over seven million dollars for past and future noneconomic damages.Carmichael Wrongful Death FAQ
Why do I need to hire a lawyer for my wrongful death case?
First and foremost, you lost a loved one, and you should be focusing your time on the grieving process and picking up the pieces of your life rather than getting frustrated with insurance claims adjusters. Another benefit of hiring a lawyer is the time and resources they will devote to investigating the accident that resulted in your loved one's untimely death, interviewing witnesses, taking depositions, and so forth. Another benefit of hiring an attorney is that they focus on achieving an outcome that benefits you. As experienced Carmichael wrongful death lawyers, we operate on a "contingency fee" basis. As the name implies, the lawyer gets paid contingent upon you obtaining financial recovery. This means that you do not have to pay an outrageous retainer fee or high hourly fee simply to retain needed legal services. Your lawyer only gets paid when a resolution is reached in your case, typically through a settlement or verdict.
What is recoverable in a wrongful death case?
Recoverable damages in a wrongful death case may include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, loss of benefits, loss of financial support, punitive damages, emotional anguish, and pain and suffering. The settlement amount in a wrongful death case will depend on several factors. Emotional and financial hardships from the wrongful death will also be factored into the final amount of compensation.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Carmichael Today
Losing a loved one is always devastating, but the pain is much worse when the loss is unexpected and caused by another party's carelessness. If a member of your family or a close loved one has suffered a wrongful death due to negligent actions, call our Carmichael wrongful death lawyers immediately at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
We offer a no-obligation consultation to learn more about your situation and decide the best way to move forward.
Editor's Note: updated [cha 7.19.23] Photo by: Pixabay sb ab [cs 1190]