Fairfield Wrongful Death Lawyer
It is a hard truth - the sudden loss of a parent or spouse can create a tremendous amount of financial strain and turmoil for those left behind. This is especially true if the deceased was the primary income earner for a household. In a moment, a family may be left wondering how they will be able to pay the mortgage, the credit card bill, the car, and other expenses. Fortunately, the financial damages suffered by a family can be pursued through a wrongful death claim.
According to California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, a wrongful death has occurred when someone loses their life as the proximate result of the negligence or misconduct of another individual, product, or corporate entity. A wrongful death claim is intended to compensate a family for the loss of a loved one as well as provide financial relief and peace of mind.Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
- Medical Bills: If your deceased loved one was treated by an emergency room team or other medical professionals, you could be reimbursed for those costs.
- Funeral Expenses: You can seek reimbursement for the cost of the funeral, including burial expenses.
- Future Earnings of the Deceased Loved One: You can seek reimbursement for the income the decedent would have earned if not for their untimely death.
- Pain, Suffering, and Loss of Companionship: You can pursue compensation for the non-itemizable harms and losses associated with wrongful death. This form of financial restitution is commonly referred to as pain and suffering damages. It is meant to help compensate you for the mental anguish, sorrow, and loss of companionship.
Filing a wrongful death claim can get complicated very quickly, especially if liability is contested. There may be a need for a lawsuit to be filed in a Fairfield civil court before a resolution can be achieved. Typically, your Fairfield wrongful death lawyer will file a claim with the insurance company of the defendant. If an amicable resolution cannot be reached during this initial phase, your attorney will then proceed to file a Complaint and issue a Summons to the defendant.
Once a lawsuit has been filed, the pre-trial discovery process will commence. Discovery in a wrongful death case requires:
- Interrogatories – This is a legal term that means written questions. You have the opportunity to send interrogatories, as does the defendant, and all answers must be provided under oath.
- Depositions – This is a legal term that basically means an in-person interview. You would be deposed by the attorney for the defendant, and your lawyer would get to depose the defendant, along with any other parties or witnesses associated with the case.
- Requests for Documents and Admissions – Your lawyer can request relevant documents such as maintenance records of the automobile being operated by the defendant, financial records, etc. In addition, a Request for Admission can be sent to the opposing party requiring them to admit or deny certain facts concerning the case.
Throughout this process, it is important to understand that settlement negotiations are taking place between your attorney and the attorney for the defendant. In many cases, the insurance company for the defendant will make an opening low-ball settlement offer and steadily increase their offer as the litigation process moves forward. There might also be court-ordered mediation that you would need to attend to try and resolve the dispute without having to go to trial.
If a wrongful death settlement is not reached, the lawsuit will go to trial. During a trial, opening and closing arguments will be made to a jury, and they will be tasked with determining whether the defendant’s conduct was reckless or negligent and that proximately caused the death of your loved one.How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help Your Family
As you can see, the entire process of resolving a wrongful death claim can be extensive, and complicated. You should have a Fairfield wrongful death law firm on your side working to build a successful case. You need a team to interview witnesses, review relevant medical records and financial statements, depose the defendant, file pertinent legal documents in court, and so forth. Attempting to do all of this on your own would be a herculean task. You should focus on grieving and getting your life back in order.
Let a Fairfield wrongful death attorney handle the legal details. An experienced attorney will be able to use the relevant statutes and legal codes to effectively negotiate with the insurance adjuster. Once they have gathered the evidence and synthesized a compelling argument, your attorney will be well equipped to convince a jury that your damages claim should be awarded in full.
The YouTube video below explains more about the wrongful death claims process.Wrongful Death Lawyer in Fairfield
I’m Ed Smith, a Fairfield wrongful death lawyer. The loss of a loved one is never easy, especially when they were taken unexpectedly in an accident. If your family has lost a relative to wrongful death, I can help. Please call me at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free, and friendly advice.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.26.20]
Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash
:sid rey [cs 1073]