Keyes Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a close relative is one of the most challenging things a family may experience in their lifetime. The financial hardship that follows can be challenging, and emotional trauma can be unbearable. If you believe your family’s loss occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to bring a wrongful death case in your situation. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Keyes can guide your family through the claims process.
Our law firm can help you and your family obtain justice and fair compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one. To speak with one of our Keyes, CA, wrongful death attorneys, call (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 to schedule a complimentary consultation for free, friendly legal advice today.
Since 1982, the Keyes wrongful death attorneys at our law firm have helped the families of those killed because of the recklessness or negligence of others. We hold at-fault parties financially accountable for their negligent actions through a wrongful death claim or filing a lawsuit in civil court if all attempts at a fair settlement fail. While no amount of money can undo the pain or make up for the loss of a close relative, it may be a form of justice for surviving family members, knowing the negligent party has been held accountable for their actions. Bringing a wrongful death suit in Keyes, California, may help the future lives of the family left behind to pick up the pieces.Who Can File for Wrongful Death in California?
Who can sue for wrongful death in Keyes, California, will depend on the relationship with the decedent. Only specific surviving family members are entitled to recovery of wrongful death damages, as outlined in the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60. This defines survivors as the decedent’s immediate family, including the spouse, domestic partner, and children. Survivors may also include parents, putative spouses, stepchildren, and children of the putative spouse who were dependent on the deceased person for services or financial support. To determine if you can bring a claim under California law, contact a wrongful death lawyer in Keyes for a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options for recovery.Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?
The specific circumstances of a fatal Keyes, CA accident case, will determine who pays for a wrongful death lawsuit. In most situations, the insurance company representing the at-fault party is generally responsible for covering the costs of a wrongful death settlement. If the individual responsible for the wrongful death accident did not have enough bodily injury liability coverage or none at all, the family may seek recourse through their insurance policy if they have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM and UIM). Before agreeing to a recorded statement or signing any settlement documents from the insurance carrier, have your case reviewed by a skilled Keyes wrongful death lawyer to ensure you and your family are fairly compensated for your loss.What Types of Damages are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Our Keyes wrongful death attorneys are committed to protecting the best interests of surviving family members and obtaining justice on behalf of their loved ones. We handle all aspects of a wrongful death claim for survivors, including the recovery of economic and non-economic damages for:
- Medical expenses the decedent incurred because of the wrongful death accident (this type of wrongful death damage may be claimed through a survival action)
- Costs related to the funeral and burial services of a lost loved one
- Loss of projected earnings based on the decedent’s age, health, education, career, and life expectancy (this type of economic damage generally requires expert witness testimony from an economist to prove fair and reasonable value)
- Loss of care, companionship, and protection for survivors
- Loss of parental guidance, training, and support for surviving children
- Lost household contributions (e.g., childcare, home maintenance, etc.)
- Mental anguish because of a loved one’s wrongful death in a fatal Keyes accident
Punitive damages may also be awarded to surviving family members in some extreme cases of wrongful death. This damage only punishes negligent parties and prevents them from harming other families. Punitive damages may be granted in cases of wrongful death where the loss of life occurred because of egregious conduct. For instance, the court may award punitive damages in a wrongful death car accident case if excessive speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is involved.What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Keyes, CA?
When bringing a wrongful death lawsuit for a fatal accident in Keyes, it is essential to ensure the lawsuit is filed on time. The statute of limitations for wrongful death in California is two years after the decedent's passing, as stated in the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. If a lawsuit is not submitted within this deadline or a wrongful death settlement is accepted by the insurer, then survivors may lose their right to seek compensatory damages in court.
To determine whether you have grounds to bring a wrongful death case and ensure it is filed before the two-year statute of limitations in California expires, seek the legal counsel of an experienced Keyes wrongful death attorney. Watch the video below for details on what to look for in the best wrongful death attorney to handle your claim.What is the Cost of Hiring an Attorney for a Wrongful Death Case?
Many families are discouraged from seeking legal representation because of high hourly rates or retainer costs. However, our Keyes, CA, wrongful death law firm handles cases under a contingency fee arrangement. This ensures no upfront costs for surviving family members, and they only pay attorney’s fees when we obtain fair compensation in their wrongful death case. A contingency fee generally comes from the trial award or final case settlement.Is it Worth Working with a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
While wrongful death cases may seem straightforward at first, several factors may come into play. Various elements may raise questions of fair compensation and liability. The court also has strict filing criteria and deadlines for wrongful death suits. An error in wrongful death procedures may have severe consequences for surviving family members. It may even lead to the court dismissing the case.
Retaining a skilled wrongful death attorney in Keyes, CA, can significantly help your case. An attorney who has years of experience handling cases like yours can ensure all filing deadlines and requirements are met in your case. Choosing to hire an attorney early in the wrongful death claims process can ensure the case is in good hands and provide the time survivors need to focus on grieving and recovering from their loss. Lawyers can handle correspondence and negotiations with insurance companies and defense counsel on behalf of the surviving family members.
Our law firm understands that you and your family have suffered immense emotional and financial hardship. If you believe your loved one lost their life because of someone else’s negligence, our legal team can help. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case with one of our Keyes wrongful death lawyers. We can advise your family of your legal rights and potential issues surrounding your case and provide a professional opinion of what you should expect from a wrongful death lawsuit. We have defended the rights of families in Keyes and throughout Stanislaus County, CA, since 1982.
Editor's Note: updated 11.22.23 Image Credit: By "caroylnabooth" via Pixabay ds [cs 1255]