Ripon Wrongful Death Lawyer
The death of a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through in life. Losing someone you love is heartbreaking and difficult to understand. It often overwhelms the surviving family members with profound feelings of pain, grief, and sorrow. Nobody is ever prepared for the sudden death of a loved one, but when that loss is due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, it is incredibly upsetting.
Under California law, a wrongful death happens when someone dies due to the unlawful actions or negligence of another person. When someone you love dies unexpectedly from a wrongful death accident, an injustice has taken place. The loss brings on not only emotional and physical grief but also life-changing events and financial strain. You have the right to recover monetary damages for the wrongful death of your loved one. While no amount of money can make up for your loss and you can never put a value on your loved one’s life, monetary compensation can help lessen the stress you and your family may be feeling. It will allow you to recover damages for emotional suffering in addition to money for funeral expenses and loss of income.What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit seeking damages against an insurance company, business, government entity or an individual that has negligently or intentionally caused the death of your loved one. However, a legal claim for wrongful death is more just a lawsuit. It represents a personal injury claim on behalf of your loved one who did not survive his or her injuries. The senseless and sudden death of your loved one impacts you in numerous ways, and a settlement can never replace the loss that you feel every day.What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
There are many causes of wrongful death, the most common are:
- Car accidents
- Defective products
- Medical Malpractice
- Workplace accidents
To move forward with a wrongful death case, it must be proved that your loved one’s death was the result of wrongful acts or negligence of the defendant. For example, in a medical malpractice case, if your loved one’s chances of survival were less than 50% before the actions of the responsible party, then a wrongful death claim may not be valid.
Under California law, a justifiable homicide does not qualify as a probable wrongful death case. If a person is killed while committing a crime, the family will not be able to file a wrongful death case. If someone commits suicide while under the care of a responsible party in charge with his or her safety, the accused party can be held liable if the actions and negligence of that party aided to the suicide.Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?
Surviving family members or heirs of the deceased victim can bring forth a wrongful death case. Individuals can sue the responsible party for monetary damages. Designated parties can pursue a wrongful death claim, which includes the following:
- Domestic Partners
- Putative Spouse (someone who was not legally married to the decedent but has the belief that a marriage was entered in good faith)
- Minor children (any child who lived in the decedent’s home for 180 days before the death if the decedent provided at least 50% support)
While money cannot truly compensate you for the death of your loved one, your recovery can ease the financial sufferings that result from the loss. Surviving family members of a decedent may be entitled to the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses
- Loss of companionship and moral support
- Lost future income
- Lost inheritance
- Loss of guidance and care of a parent
A wrongful death claim must be filed within a specific time frame. According to California law, there are three statutes of limitation to take into consideration for a wrongful death claim.
- The law requires that a wrongful death claim is filed within two years of the injury or death.
- If the claim is based on medical malpractice, it is three years from the date of the death or one year after the injury was discovered, whichever comes first.
- If it is based on a government entity, the claim must be filed within six months of the injury.
There are many rules and measures to comply with a wrongful death claim, and that’s why having an experienced lawyer behind you can help guide you through the rules.Why You Need a Ripon Wrongful Death Attorney
Amid the mourning and planning for a funeral, the last thing on your mind is worry about filing a wrongful death claim. The lawsuit can be emotionally taxing and very disruptive to a grieving family. When someone else caused the death of your loved one, you should not have to carry the expenses alone. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers understand the hardships you are facing. We will guide you through your options to pursue legal action against the responsible party.Ripon Wrongful Death Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Ripon Wrongful Death Lawyer. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, you will need an experienced lawyer. Call me today at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly and compassionate legal advice.
I’ve been helping clients in Ripon and throughout Northern California obtain compensation for wrongful death and personal injury cases since 1982.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.14.19]