Merced Wrongful Death Lawyer
If a close family member dies due to another person's negligent actions or inaction, a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. But while you are grieving for your loss, the defendant and their insurance company will likely do everything possible to minimize their exposure to a potential wrongful death lawsuit. You should consider pursuing a legal claim as soon as possible.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident due to negligence, call our law firm at (209) 227-1931 to speak to one of our compassionate injury lawyers. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.How Wrongful Deaths Can Occur
Wrongful death is a death proximately caused by another individual's negligence, recklessness, or intentional act. Thus, to prove wrongful death, the decedent's family must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant committed some wrongful act or failed to take reasonable action in response to a particular situation.
Many types of wrongful acts could result in death, including:
- A collision between two automobiles
- The collision between a car and a commercial truck
- A collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle
- Work-related injuries
- Alcohol-related incidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective consumer products
- Boating accidents
- Dangerous business premises
The above list is not an exhausting catalog of all possible incidents that could serve as the basis for a Merced wrongful death claim. Many other types of incidents could have resulted in wrongful death.Types of Damages That May Be Recovered
Under California law, a surviving family member (i.e., representative) may file a civil claim for damages on behalf of the decedent. This means that expenses associated with the passing of the deceased and the family's pain and suffering can be recovered through the wrongful death claims process. Among the types of damages that can be pursued include:
- Post-Death Expenses: Medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses associated with your loved one before passing. Medical expenses are daily when someone is involved in an automobile collision and receives emergency medical treatment but ultimately succumbs to their injuries.
- Future Earnings: If the decedent had a family and was earning an income from a job, the representative for the decedent's estate can pursue future wages that would have been earned by the decedent if not for the fatal accident.
- Your Pain and Suffering: This includes your anguish and trauma stemming from the incident, including mental anguish.
- Loss of Companionship: You can secure compensation for the loss of companionship previously provided by a family member.
- Punitive Damages: In some instances containing truly shocking conduct on the defendant's part, it may be possible to recover an additional form of punitive damages. These damages are typically awarded to signal to the defendant and others who are similarly situated that the conduct precipitating your loved one's death is wholly unacceptable, and there will be consequences.
Unfortunately, while you are grieving and adjusting to the recent passing of a family member, the insurance company for the at-fault party will likely be hiring private investigators and attorneys to try and mitigate their potential exposure to any claimed damages. This should be no surprise since insurance companies profit by paying the least amount possible, even on legitimate claims.
The video below discusses a wrongful death claim.Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance companies regularly hire paid experts to examine the accident scene and all possible angles to help the insurance company argue for either reduced damages or for your wrongful death case to be dismissed entirely. This is why hiring a Merced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible is essential to get your investigative team moving and preserve critical evidence. An attorney knows what tricks insurance adjusters use to game the legal system and can help prevent them from causing permanent damage to your wrongful death case. Experienced attorneys will also seek out any witnesses to the incident quickly so that they can provide detailed statements before their short-term memories lapse.You Pay No Attorney Fees Upfront
You may be concerned about hefty legal fees and the inability to afford a Merced wrongful death lawyer. Put those concerns to rest. Most, if not all, wrongful death lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that rather than charging you an hourly fee for legal representation or making you pay a considerable retainer fee, the lawyer's fee is contingent upon a successful outcome in your case, either through a settlement or a verdict. Once a financial recovery has been obtained for you, the lawyer generally receives a percentage of the total financial legal recovery. The percentage varies depending on the facts of the case and whether the outcome required going to court for a jury trial.Do Not Let the Statute of Limitations Expire
An unexpected death triggers a law known as the statute of limitations. In California, a representative for a decedent has only two years (or six months in the case of a government defendant) from the time of the death to bring a lawsuit seeking justice and financial compensation for that death. For these reasons, the family of a loved one should take time to grieve and come to terms with the loss, but soon after, you should consider preserving your legal rights by speaking to a wrongful death lawyer from Merced.Call a Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Merced, CA Today
If your family has lost a loved one in an accident because of someone else's negligence, our Merced wrongful death lawyers at AutoAccident.com are here to offer compassionate, free, and friendly advice. Set up a consultation today with one of our attorneys by dialing (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.
The founder of AutoAccident.com, attorney Edward A. Smith, has been practicing personal injury and wrongful death law in California since 1982.
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Editor's Note: updated [cha 8.24.23] sb bw [cs 1009] Photo by Pixabay