Ceres Wrongful Death Lawyer
Since 1982, our wrongful death attorneys at AutoAccident.com have assisted many families across California, including Ceres, after losing a loved one. We are available anytime to hear your story and provide compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.
At our wrongful death law firm, we understand that losing a loved one in a car accident or other deadly incident leaves more than mental anguish. Such losses may result in financial hardship for survivors. No amount of financial compensation may undo the pain and suffering or bring a lost relative back. However, surviving family members must continue supporting themselves and their loved ones. Retaining an experienced Ceres wrongful death attorney is critical in these situations, especially when dealing with insurance companies that often dispute financial liability for the accidental death and do not truly understand how much your loved one meant to you.What is Wrongful Death?
When a loved one loses their life due to another individual or entity's negligence, it may be considered wrongful death under the law. Wrongful death claims in California may arise from a wide array of situations, including motor vehicle accidents, manufacturing of dangerous products or pharmaceutical drugs, failing to diagnose a fatal disease, and more.What Must Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
To recover full and fair compensation in a wrongful death claim, four elements of negligence must be established and proven through various forms of evidence. The surviving family member and their Ceres wrongful death lawyer must prove these elements of their case:
- The negligent individual owed a duty of care to the decedent.
- The duty of care was breached through the at-fault party’s negligent actions.
- That negligence was the direct cause of the loved one’s wrongful death.
- The damages suffered by surviving family members can be demonstrated and calculated, and survivors should be compensated fairly for their loss in that amount.
The wrongful death of a loved one can create severe financial and emotional losses for the family. Our wrongful death attorneys in Ceres work diligently to help our clients obtain full and fair financial compensation for the following:
- Economic Damages: In a wrongful death claim, economic damages or special damages are straightforward and are based upon easy-to-identify and calculation expenses. They include costs of end-of-life medical treatment, funeral and burial expenses, household services, lost future financial support, loss of inheritance, and other financial losses related to a loved one's wrongful death. The value of some economic damages can be determined by adding up the receipts to arrive at a fair and reasonable sum. For future economic damages, expert witness testimony from an economist may be necessary to prove the fair and reasonable value of the loss.
- Non-Economic Damages: Also known as general damages in a wrongful death case, these refer to the emotional and intangible costs of losing a loved one. When a Ceres wrongful death lawyer cannot agree on the value of non-economic damages with the insurance company or defense counsel, the attorney may proceed with a lawsuit. If the matter is taken to trial, the value of general damages will be decided by the jury that is just and fair. Evidence will be provided by the attorney to the jury that can help satisfy their questions about the loss and what it meant to the family in terms of monetary value. Common types of non-economic damages in a wrongful death suit include loss of a loved one’s care, affection, and protection, as well as the loss of parental guidance and training for surviving children.
- Punitive Damages: In extreme cases of wrongful death, punitive damages may be sought if the at-fault party’s actions that led to the loss of a loved one were particularly egregious. For instance, a jury may award punitive damages for a fatal car accident caused by excessive speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Punitive damages serve the sole purpose of setting a standard in the community to deter similar behavior from happening to others in the future.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Ceres can gather evidence to prove how the loss of a loved one has impacted the family. Contact an experienced lawyer today to learn more about how this is done through the wrongful death claims process. For information on what to look for in the best wrongful death attorney to handle your case, watch the video below.Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Action in California?
Under California law, the survivors or personal representative of the decedent’s property may file a wrongful death claim after a fatal accident. Our Ceres wrongful death law firm can determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements and how to bring a case appropriately. The following surviving family members, as outlined in the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, may file for wrongful death:
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
- The surviving child or children of the decedent
- If there is no living child or spouse, then the parents, putative spouse, stepchildren, or children of the putative spouse may file a wrongful death claim.
- The executor of the deceased individual’s estate
Surviving family members must bring a wrongful death lawsuit in a specific window of time, known as the statute of limitations. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, a family has two years to file a lawsuit if a mutual agreement is not reached with the insurance company for a fair wrongful death settlement within that time limit.
If a case is not filed within the deadline, the court may dismiss the lawsuit, and survivors may lose the opportunity to obtain justice for losing a loved one. That makes it more important for the family to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Ceres as soon as possible. An attorney can handle all filing deadlines on your behalf so you and your family can focus on grieving and recovering from your loss.How a Contingency Fee Agreement Works in a Wrongful Death Case
At our wrongful death law firm in Ceres, CA, we handle cases under a contingency fee arrangement. This means you will not have to pay any attorneys’ fees unless a fair recovery is made for you and your family. Our legal team is the type of support your family needs in these difficult times. Contact us today to learn more about how we can obtain justice and fair compensation for you and your family.
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