Livermore Wrongful Death Lawyer
The loss of a close relative is painful and devastating, particularly if it occurs because of an accident that resulted from the negligence of another party or entity. When a loved one is lost, a family is not only left behind to cope with grief and financial hardship, but they also must adjust to the loss of companionship and support. Fortunately, California law recognizes the significant impact that a family member’s passing may have and provides survivors a way of seeking compensation for their loss through a wrongful death claim. Navigating the legal process is not always straightforward because insurance companies and defense counsel may not always have the best interests of surviving family members at heart. An experienced wrongful death attorney in Livermore can help by protecting the rights of a grieving family, handling their case from start to finish, and recovering the compensation they need after a loved one was taken away from them too soon.
If you have lost a loved one in a recent accident because of someone else’s negligence, our compassionate Livermore wrongful death attorneys can help. Call now for free, friendly case advice at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. Our family at AutoAccident.com is here for you and your family.
There are many challenges that may present in the wrongful death claims process. That is why it is crucial to work with an attorney that has years of experience handling these matters, both in insurance negotiations and in the courtroom. Since 1982, our law firm has provided compassionate assistance to families in Livermore and throughout Alameda County. We are devoted to obtaining justice and securing fair compensation on behalf of our clients. Our legal team understands the hardship that may arise after the unexpected loss of a close relative, and we will work to provide your family with the support and guidance you all need. Your family never has to worry about upfront costs for legal representation as we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you owe us nothing unless we obtain a favorable outcome in your case. Get started today with a free consultation with one of our skilled and compassionate wrongful death lawyers from Livermore.What Types of Damages are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case?
Under California law, individuals and entities that have caused an accident resulting in a loss of life through their negligent actions may be held liable for losses incurred. Surviving family members may seek economic and non-economic damages for the financial and intangible losses they have experienced because of their loved one’s sudden death. This may include but is not limited to:
- Costs of medical care that were incurred for the treatment of the decedent’s final injuries are recoverable through a survival action
- Expenses for funeral and burial services
- Loss of future financial support that the decedent would have provided to the household had the fatal accident not occurred
- Loss of care, companionship, and protection to compensate survivors for the important relationship that they have lost in their lives
Calculating the value of economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim may be challenging since the losses are often significant. This is especially true in those cases involving a lifetime of lost wages and loss of companionship. These cases often require testimony from expert witnesses to provide insight into the fair and reasonable value of resulting losses. Fortunately, the best Livermore wrongful death lawyer will have the resources to work with experts in the field to recover the maximum compensation your family deserves.Is There Enough Insurance to Cover a Wrongful Death Claim?
An accident resulting in the loss of a loved one is challenging enough, and when the party responsible for the incident has little to no liability coverage, this may make matters even more stressful for surviving family members. Fortunately, they may have recourse if their close relative has an auto insurance policy and carries uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. In situations where the at-fault party has minimal coverage, UIM coverage may help supplement losses up to the limits of the policy. Conversely, UM coverage works to pay for losses resulting from a crash caused by a negligent party with no liability insurance.
What is useful about UM and UIM coverage is that even if the decedent did not have auto insurance with these benefits but lived with a relative who carries it, protection may be extended to the deceased. This is a possible option for recovery so long as the policyholder did not list the decedent as an excluded member of the plan. Conversely, what many may not know about UM coverage is that it may help cover damages resulting from a hit-and-run accident resulting in wrongful death. Keep in mind that these cases require substantial evidence showing that the defendant’s vehicle made contact with the deceased, their actions were the direct cause of the decedent’s injuries that led to their death, and survivors suffered damages as a result.Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in a Fatal Accident Case?
Punitive damages, also referred to as exemplary damages, differ from economic damages and non-economic damages. That is because the purpose of exemplary damages is to punish the at-fault party. Punitive damages do not compensate surviving family members and are generally awarded at the discretion of the court. If the court decides to move forward with making an example out of the negligent party to deter others in the Livermore community from engaging in egregious conduct, then exemplary damages may be awarded.
The standard that must be met to recover punitive damages in a wrongful death case is high. That is because they are reserved for fatal accident cases involving egregious conduct, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) and excessive speeding. There must be clear and compelling evidence that demonstrates that the other side acted in a way that is deemed a complete disregard for the safety of others. While this is not necessarily impossible to meet, it is essential to understand that exemplary damages are an extraordinary remedy in these matters. For more details, reach out to an experienced Livermore wrongful death attorney.Is There a Time Limit on Wrongful Death Claims in California?
After the loss of a loved one, it is understandable that it may be challenging to navigate the legal process while coping with grief. However, remember that any delay in filing a wrongful death claim may impact your rights as a surviving family member. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, survivors have up to two years to file a lawsuit in civil court. This must be done if the family does not settle with the other side within that period. It may be reduced to as little as six months in cases involving government agencies.
Failure to comply with the statute of limitations and other filing criteria applicable to the case may result in its dismissal by the court. Therefore, it is crucial that surviving family members work with the best wrongful death lawyer in Livermore, CA, to ensure that all aspects of their case are handled appropriately.
For information on the qualities that you should look for in an attorney to handle your fatal accident case, watch this video.Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Livermore, CA
The loss of a loved one often brings with it a devastating emotional loss and financial hardship. For over three decades, the legal team at AutoAccident.com has been there for individuals and families in need in Alameda County and throughout California. When your family turns to us for assistance, our Livermore wrongful death lawyers will work hard to help you all find answers and hold the other side liable for your loss. We understand how challenging such a situation may be and that is why we are committed to taking on difficult insurance companies and defense counsel so your family can focus on what matters most: being there for each other and recovering from your loss together.
Set up a free consultation with one of our accident attorneys to discuss your case in detail at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. Our legal team is available anytime to listen to your story, discuss your rights as a surviving family member, and provide free, friendly advice on how to move forward in your situation. As Livermore wrongful death attorneys, we are committed to seeking justice for families and recovering maximum compensation on behalf of our clients in both insurance negotiations and in the courtroom. Our Settlements and Verdicts are a testament to our work and dedication to those we represent. Your family has nothing to lose and so much to gain when you work with our family at AutoAccident.com
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.2.22]
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