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Madera Wrongful Death Lawyer

cardVisiting our Madera wrongful death attorney webpage may mean that you have experienced the loss of a loved one, and aside from an overwhelming sense of grief, you demand justice for their premature demise. You might say that grief is grief, and in some measure, that is true. However, having someone ripped from this life due to another's negligence instills a need for justice that will not stop until the matter is resolved. We'll look at the many faces of grief and discuss the ways that negligence leading to an unexpected demise can be dealt with legally. 

Helping People Deal With Grief

As a Madera wrongful death lawyer, I have seen clients torn apart by the grief they feel when a loved one dies unexpectedly. I understand the sense of loss they feel and do my utmost to help them resolve issues surrounding the person's death. I work with my clients to give them justice for their loved one's wrongful death. My staff and I believe in and display compassion while using our legal skills to help each and every family move through this difficult time.

What Is Grief

Grief after the death of a loved one is the deep sorrow we feel when someone close to us dies. It is often an overwhelming emotion and can cause the grieving person to feel numb and distanced from others and their own daily life. While this emotion is universal, it is, at the same time, personal and unique. Everyone deals with grief in their own way. This feeling can persist for months or years as the family members try to cope

For the most part, while in the throes of the emotion, dealing with the cause of the person's death is not even the grieving person's first thought. Instead, they are asking themselves how this could have happened and what they could have done to prevent it. Overall, the grieving person should realize that grief has a process all its own, one they cannot control. There are stages of grief that happen in their own time. 

Stages of Grief

There are five stages of grief, as described in the Kübler-Ross model. They begin with denial and move to anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The length of each stage may vary depending on the individual, and some may overlap. 

Madera Wrongful Death Lawyer - Seeking Justice for Clients

In some cases, justice is handed out in a criminal conviction. In others, the negligent party pays financially. Sometimes, both are involved in a single case. For example, an intentional act such as murder will include criminal charges. Whether or not the person is convicted of killing the decedent, a personal injury case can also be filed. If a criminal conviction precedes the wrongful death case, the conviction itself can be used to prove that negligence occurred. 

The following video presented by Madera wrongful death attorney, Ed Smith, provides insight into these types of cases.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is one filed against the individual, entity or government agency that caused the person's demise. It is usually filed by a Madera wrongful death attorney for family members. A wrongful death claim is essentially a way for the family or loved ones to ensure that they will be able to survive financially. This prevents the family from losing their home or being unable to care for children properly. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit starts with contacting a wrongful death attorney in Madera.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is restricted to close family members who were supported by the decedent. They can file for loss of financial assistance the decedent provided as well as losing the love and emotional support he or she gave. If you are uncertain if you are able to file a claim, speak to your Madera wrongful death attorney. The following is a list of parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in California:

  • Spouses and putative spouses are both able to file a wrongful death claim. A putative spouse is one who believes they were married to the decedent without having formal documentation. 
  • Children are able to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Domestic partners are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.
  • Stepchildren who were supported by the decedent can file a claim.
  • Minors who lived with the decedent for six months before the decedent's demise and were given half their support by them can also file.
Reasons for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death claims are filed for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • Car accidents: This is one of the most common reasons a wrongful death claim is filed. 
  • Motorcycle accidents: Without the safety protection provided to those in passenger cars, motorcyclists often suffer catastrophic injuries and deaths.
  • Truck accidents: With the number of trucks on the road combined with their size and weight, a truck accident is frequently fatal to occupants of passenger vehicles.
  • Bicycle accidents: Similar to motorcycle accidents, bicyclists, don't have a protective zone about them. 
  • Pedestrian accidents: The number of pedestrian accidents has increased in California over the last few years. Approximately one pedestrian dies every hour and a half in the United States.
  • Defective products: Products that are defective cause many deaths annually. The types of products ranging from automobiles to exercise equipment to furniture.
  • Malpractice: Doctors are obligated to provide patients with the appropriate standard of care. When a diagnosis is missed, or a patient is treated inappropriately, a fatality can occur. The family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the physician and the hospital.
Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In California, there are strict limits for the time in which you can file a claim. If the wrongful death claim is not filed within this period, called the statute of limitations, your case will usually not be heard. Depending on the reason the death occurred, there are different time limits:

  • Two years: The majority of wrongful death claims have a two-year statute of limitations.
  • Three years: If the death was caused by medical malpractice, there is a three-year time limit attached. This is usually calculated from the time the accident happened or from the point the family found out about the injury.
  • Six months: If the negligent action was caused by a government entity, the family has six months to file an administrative claim. The city then has 45 days to answer. If the city accepts the claim, a lawsuit can be filed within six months. If the government agency fails to respond, the injured party has two years to file. 
Wrongful Death Attorney in Madera County, CA

Dealing with difficult insurance companies after the loss of a loved one is not easy. Our Madera wrongful death lawyers can help families navigate the legal process. Call an attorney from our law firm today to get the help and free, friendly case advice you need at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400.

I've helped residents of Madera since 1982 obtain the compensation they deserve in car accidents, truck crashes, and wrongful deaths.

I am a proud member of the following organizations: 

Please visit the following pages to learn more about my practice:

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 9.28.20]

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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