Marysville-Yuba City Wrongful Death Lawyer
The sudden and unexpected death of a loved one is one of the most painful and traumatizing experiences anyone must suffer through in this life. The pain is often made that much worse when you discover that your loved one's death was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person or company.Wrongful Death Associated With Car Accidents
According to the National Safety Council, 2016 was the deadliest year for drivers in the United States since 2006. An estimated 40,000 people were killed in auto accidents in the year 2016, a six percent increase from 2015. It would also represent a 14 percent increase in car crash deaths since 2014, which would be the largest two-year jump in over 50 years.Cоmmоn Cаuѕеѕ of Wrоngful Dеаth
There are an array of scenarios that can give rise to a wrongful death claim. As mentioned, a common situation is when someone is killed in a serious automobile accident. Other circumstances include:
- Car hit by a commercial truck
- Motorcycle wrecks
- Collisions on the water (e.g., boating and jet ski accidents)
- Dangerous consumer products
- Unsafe pharmaceutical drugs that carry deadly side effects
- Brain injury
To determine whether or not the incident that claimed the life of your loved one meets the standard necessary to pursue a wrongful death claim, you need to sit down with a Marysville-Yuba City wrongful death lawyer to discuss the facts of your particular case.Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California
Under California law, only specific individuals are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a decedent. The law limits the individual to one of the following:
- If married, the husband, wife, or domestic partner of the decedent;
- If the decedent had a child or children, they may bring a lawsuit;
- If there is no husband or wife and no children, then the law allows a wrongful death claim to be pursued by the person who receives the decedent’s property through intestate succession (i.e., who inherits the decedent’s assets).
A common question is whether multiple wrongful death claims can be filed by different individuals. Under state law, only a single designated representative may file a lawsuit in civil court. This is to avoid the scenario where there are two or three different lawsuits filed in separate courts concerning the same accident. The only exception is if multiple plaintiffs partnered together and filed a claim jointly.Types of Damages Sought in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Some of the most common types of harms and losses (also known as damages) recoverable in wrongful death cases include the following:
- Medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses associated with the sudden loss of your loved one. These types of immediate costs are often referred to as compensatory damages.
- Reasonable future earnings of the decedent: income that the deceased would have expected to earn throughout his or her lifetime can also be recovered as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Pain and suffering stemming from the loss.
- Loss of companionship: this represents compensation for the loss of companionship provided by the decedent.
- Emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, and other trauma.
The YouTube video below further explains a wrongful death claim and the types of damages that can be sought.No Large Hourly Fee With a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Many people hesitate before contacting a wrongful death lawyer in Marysville-Yuba City because they worry that a lawyer will be prohibitively expensive. However, most wrongful death attorneys do not charge hourly fees or require you to pay a retainer fee. Instead, they work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer only gets paid contingent upon a financial recovery obtained for you.Settle the Case or Go to Trial?
When you decide to file a wrongful death claim against the individual or company that caused your loved one’s death, there is a good chance that your claim will be resolved out of court through an amicable settlement or mediation. In fact, well over 95 percent of all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are settled without ever winding up in front of a jury. However, you should never feel pressured to accept a settlement you are not comfortable with. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, but you, as the client, hold the ultimate power on whether to accept a settlement. If you want to go to trial, you should make sure you have a lawyer who is ready and able to present your case to a jury.What Needs to Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
As mentioned above, the vast majority of claims settle, but there remains the possibility that a fair and reasonable settlement cannot be worked out, and a jury trial is needed. If this happens, your attorney needs to be prepared to present sufficient evidence to show that the defendant was responsible (i.e., liable) for your loved one’s sudden death. Your attorney will need to present evidence that satisfies the four legal elements of wrongful death civil liability including:
- Duty of care
- Brеасh of that duty
- Proximate causation
- Economic and non-economic dаmаgеѕ
My name is Ed Smith, and I’m a Marysville-Yuba City wrongful death lawyer. I have more than three decades of experience representing injured individuals and families who lost loved ones in serious tragedies such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents or truck accidents. Please reach out to me for free, friendly advice at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. If you lost a loved one due to the careless or reckless actions of another individual or corporate entity, you have the right to hold them accountable, and I am here to help you through this tough time.
Members of Million Dollar Advocates Forum are some of the top lawyers around the nation with verdicts and settlements of $1 million or more. I am a California member.
I also was inducted into the Top One Percent in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
Take a look at my website autoaccident.com for important information about personal injury cases.
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Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 1.17.19]