Galt Wrongful Death Lawyer
The loss of a loved one is a challenging, overwhelming experience. This can be made even more devastating if the death was caused by the negligence of another party or entity. It can also cause significant financial hardship for surviving family members of the decedent. In these cases, they may be able to seek some relief by enlisting the assistance of a Galt wrongful death attorney. A lawyer understands the pain a family goes through after a loved one’s wrongful death and will work to ensure that survivors receive a fair settlement.What Would Be Considered a Wrongful Death?
As defined by California law, wrongful death is a civil action for a loss of life that is caused by the negligence of someone else. Many different accidents can constitute a wrongful death lawsuit, such as:
- Bus Crashes
- Car Accidents
- Defective Vehicle Design
- Faulty Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals
- Hazardous Consumer Products
- Medical Malpractice
- Motorcycle Crashes
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Pedestrian Collisions
- Truck Accidents
Four elements must be established to hold a negligent party liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. These include:
- Duty of Care: The family must demonstrate that the at-fault party owed the decedent a duty of care at the time of the wrongful death accident
- Breach of Duty: The family must provide proof that the negligent party breached his or her duty of care through an act of misconduct or negligence
- Causation: Once a breach of duty has been established, the family must be able to show that their loved one’s death resulted from the negligent individual’s actions and not some other cause
- Damage: The negligent person’s breach of duty directly resulted in the wrongful death of the family member and subsequent financial losses
A wrongful death suit can be challenging to litigate. It requires the production of sufficient evidence to persuade a jury and judge that a family should be awarded damages. This is why a family should contact a Galt wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will guide a family through difficult times, such as these, and have the experience to obtain fair compensation. To learn more about these types of claims, watch the below video.What Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The sudden loss of a loved one can result in immediate and significant financial strain on family resources. This is especially true if the deceased was the primary provider for the family. Two types of losses may be recovered through a wrongful death action, economic and non-economic damages. These include:
- Any benefits that are lost like medical insurance and pension plans
- Funeral expenses
- Hospital and medical bills for the final injuries and illness associated with the death is recoverable through a survival action
- Pain and suffering for any emotional stress or anxiety that survivors have experienced due to the loved one's wrongful death
- The loss of support, guidance, care, and parenting that would have been provided by the decedent
- The lost income that would have been earned by the decedent, including their remaining lifetime wages and earning potential
- The reasonable value of services and goods that would have been provided by the decedent
Punitive damages or exemplary damages are awarded in Galt wrongful death cases under specific circumstances. They are not intended to compensate a grieving family for their losses. Instead, they are designed to punish the negligent party for their intentional acts of fraud, oppression, and malice and deter similar future behavior. Most insurance policies exclude liability for punitive damages. In other words, the insurance company will not cover such damages, and the negligent party will have to pay them if they have enough assets.California Wrongful Death Claim FAQ
Who can bring a wrongful death suit in California?
Under California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, immediate family members of the decedent may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Eligible parties include the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the deceased. If such parties do not exist, then the decedent’s stepchildren, putative spouse, children of the putative spouse, or parents may be able to file for wrongful death. Any minor who lived with the decedent for the previous 180 days may also be eligible to bring a case if they were financially dependent on the decedent for at least 50 percent. Conversely, any claim can also be filed by any person entitled to the deceased person’s property under California intestate succession laws if they are not survived by any of the parties mentioned above.
How long do I have to file a claim for wrongful death?
A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of a family member's death. This is by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. When a death occurs through the negligence of a government entity, then a claim must be filed within six months or 180 days from the time of loss. If the death resulted from medical malpractice, there is a three-year window to file a claim against a negligent physician or other medical professionals under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5. Failing to meet the wrongful death statute can significantly undermine a family’s legal right to pursue a claim for damages.
Can I afford a wrongful death lawyer in Galt?
Many families are under the impression that they have to pay an arm and a leg for legal representation. However, most wrongful death lawyers do not require a family to pay high hourly fees or an upfront retainer fee. Most attorneys handle wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, meaning that a lawyers' fee will only be due if a favorable outcome is obtained in the case for the family.Considerations When Hiring an Attorney
When it comes to wrongful death law, you have a far-ranging selection of California wrongful death lawyers who can work for you. But when you and your family are vulnerable to losing a loved one, you don’t just need an attorney. You need a legal advocate who is there to guide you and your family through the complexities of your wrongful death claim to ensure you receive the recovery you need to move forward from your loss. While no amount of money can bring your family member back, compensation from a wrongful death claim may help cover the financial damages resulting from a loved one's unexpected death.Wrongful Death Attorneys in Galt
I’m Ed Smith, a Galt wrongful death lawyer. If someone you love has passed away in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another, our experienced injury attorneys are here to provide you compassionate, free, and friendly advice on how to proceed with a Galt wrongful death claim. You are welcome to call us anytime at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.3.21]
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