Loomis Wrongful Death Lawyer
It is 3:00 am in the morning. You wake up to a phone call. It is the Placer County Sheriff's Office. You learn the devastating news that a loved one died in an accident. In a moment, your world is turned upside down and you have no idea where to even begin or how to move forward.
Understanding the Definition of Wrongful Death
According to California Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60, a wrongful death has occurred when a person has died as a proximate result of some wrongdoing or negligence of another person or entity. A surviving family member such as a spouse, partner, or child, can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim.
Wrongful Death Claims Not Limited to Just Automobile Collisions
Any death proximately caused by the negligence or recklessness of another can constitute a wrongful death claim under California law. For example, the following types of incidents can serve as the basis for pursuing a wrongful death claim:
- Pedestrian hit by an automobile
- Boating accident
- Electrocution at a hotel or work site
- Surgical error
- Defective or dangerously designed product sold the public
- Unsafe prescription medication or medical device used by patients
Why Wrongful Death Claims Only Allow the Recovery of Financial Compensation
When someone you love is killed in a preventable accident, you may understandably feel anger and hatred towards the at-fault individual. You may want them to be punished or locked away for the rest of their life. Such emotions are expected, but the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is not to fill the void left by the departed, but rather to help make life easier for you and your family. Nevertheless, it may be possible for an at-fault individual to be held responsible both in a civil wrongful death lawsuit and in a criminal case with charges brought by the government.
No Universal Set of Laws Govern Wrongful Death Claims
There are important distinctions and differences among the states when it comes to wrongful death law. This is why it is critical to determine which state is most appropriate to file a claim in, since some states have very restrictive statutes concerning the financial recovery available in a wrongful death lawsuit. There are also different statutes of limitations unique to each state that you need to be aware of. This is why it makes sense to speak to an attorney well-versed in wrongful death law to discuss your legal rights.
You Can File a Wrongful Death Action Even if the Decedent was Never Gainfully Employed
It is possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, if the deceased victim never held a full-time job. Compensatory damages may still be recoverable because the decedent may have contributed to your household in other ways. For example, the decedent may have been a stay-at-home parent who ran the household and raised the children. Losing this individual is a tremendous loss to the well-being of your family and can serve as the basis for a financial recovery.
Recoverable Compensation After a Wrongful Death
The following categories of damages, including economic damages and non-economic damages, are recoverable in a wrongful death claim:
- Accrued medical bills from treatment after an accident. This is especially relevant in situations where a loved one was involved in a car wreck but remained alive and was treated at a hospital prior to their untimely death. In some circumstances, the decedent may have undergone surgery and wound up in a coma. The medical expenses associated with treatment are recoverable.
- Costs associated with your loved one's funeral, including their burial.
- Loss of financial or household support. This is highly relevant when the decedent supported their family financially through a full-time job.
- Pain, suffering, emotional trauma, anxiety, etc.
The loss of a loved one in a preventable accident is a gut-wrenching experience far too many people have to endure. My name is Ed Smith and I am a Loomis wrongful death attorney who has devoted his career to helping people during difficult times.
If someone you love has passed away due to the negligent or careless actions of another, please call me at (530) 392-9400 or toll free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly and compassionate advice.
You can also reach me online anytime.
Take a minute to look at my Verdicts and Settlements page to see some of my results.
I am a proud member of the Million Dollar Forum, a select group of top injury lawyers with million-dollar verdicts and settlements.
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