Elverta Wrongful Death Lawyer
There is no easy way to handle the unexpected death of a beloved family member. The grief that comes with the loss can be devastating under any circumstances, but it is more troubling when the death is preventable.
Losing a loved one can impact surviving family members in many ways. The grief can be debilitating. When you are hurting, dealing with a loved one's medical, funeral, and burial expenses is an unexpected challenge. Anyone who depended financially on a lost family member may be in a distressing situation.
Filing a wrongful death claim can allow the surviving family to seek financial compensation from the negligent party. Call our Elverta wrongful death lawyers at (916) 921-6400 for a free consultation if you believe your family is entitled to compensation.What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is any death that occurs due to the negligence of another person or entity. A negligent death can come in many forms, such as auto collisions, motorcycle wrecks, sporting accidents, pedestrian crashes, medical malpractice, slip and falls, and even violent crimes. However, not every accidental death will result in a feasible wrongful death lawsuit. These accidents must occur due to someone else's reckless or careless acts.
While courts use "accidental death" for wrongful death claims, intentional acts can also result in these suits. If you're unclear if the loss of your loved one qualifies as a claim for wrongful death, reach out to us to see whether or not you have grounds to seek compensation.How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that usually works similarly across jurisdictions. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, only certain family members have the right to bring these claims. Some parties that could file a wrongful death lawsuit include spouses, punitive spouses, children, siblings, and parents.
Once the correct party (plaintiff) is established, the claim involves a complete investigation. Determining the cause of the wrongful death and the at-fault parties is essential. Once the investigation is thorough, the plaintiff and their lawyer will send a demand letter to the responsible party. This demand seeks compensation in exchange for an agreement not to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If the wrongful death case does not settle at this point, it will result in legal action in court. A wrongful death lawsuit can take months or even years before a jury trial.Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The damages in a wrongful death case generally fall into two categories.
- The first type of compensation involves compensation for any medical expenses and pain and suffering related to the decedent's injury.
- The second type of compensation involves the losses family members might experience due to the decedent's untimely death. These claims can support those who relied financially on the decedent. Surviving family members could also seek compensation for loss of emotional support or even the decedent's household chores.
Because no two cases are alike, predicting the average settlement for a wrongful death lawsuit is impossible. However, using evidence for a claim's value could help determine the settlement amount. Your injury lawyer can help evaluate your claim and give you an estimate of the amount of compensation you might expect.
Various factors go into determining the value of a wrongful death claim. Understanding these factors can be helpful during the evaluation process. These factors include:
- The age of the decedent
- The decedent's future earning potential
- The medical bills related to the injury or death
- The insurance policy limits
Wrongful death cases can be worth a substantial amount because these claims are intended to compensate for the remaining lifetime of the person's earnings. The settlement amounts can range from tens of thousands to several million dollars, depending on the abovementioned factors.Statute of Limitations on a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
According to California laws, there are three limitations and deadlines to file a wrongful death claim in California.
- In most situations, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of injury or death.
- In medical malpractice or health care provider negligence, the lawsuit must be filed three years from the date of death or one year from when the injury was first discovered.
- If death involves any government entity, the claim must be filed within six months of the injury.
The statute of limitations exists to avoid delays between an individual's death and filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If the suit is delayed, it is more difficult to adequately prepare for the case. For more information about filing deadlines, it is best to speak to a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible after losing a loved one.
Watch the YouTube video below to learn more about wrongful death claims.Call Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Elverta, CA Today
Call our Elverta wrongful death lawyers for free, friendly, and compassionate advice if you have lost a family member in a tragic accident in Sacramento County. We can be reached at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. You can also contact us through our online form.
Our personal injury law firm has been helping clients with wrongful death cases in Sacramento County and Northern California since 1982.
Editor's Note: updated 10.26.23 Photo by GoranH on Pixabay cha [cs 937]