San Ramon Wrongful Death Lawyer

candle

When someone in San Ramon dies due to negligence or an intentional act, this is called a wrongful death. Negligent individuals such as a motorist or another entity such as a company that owns and manages a swimming pool may be held liable in such instances. The estate can file a wrongful death claim, or the family may receive compensation based on the financial loss. When your loved one dies due to another's negligence or an intentional act, a Sam Ramon wrongful death lawyer can assist your family in obtaining the compensation they deserve.

Wrongful Death Attorneys in San Ramon, CA

The injury lawyers at AutoAccident.com have helped many grieving families obtain fair compensation when their loved one died because of negligence by another. Call us at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400 to arrange a free review of your case, have your questions answered, and find out how you can obtain compensation.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?

In California, a loved one's death must meet four criteria for it to be considered wrongful. These elements are proven by the collection of evidence to support the claim. These include:

  • It is the defendant's responsibility to avoid harming others. This duty is mandatory whether it involves a driver sharing the roadway, a patient in a hospital, or a commercial establishment patron. 
  • This duty was breached when the defendant failed to prevent foreseeable harm. A defendant can be held liable for failing to do what a reasonable person would consider a duty. 
  • An individual's death was caused by the at-fault party's breach of duty.
  • Survivors of the deceased suffered financial hardship and loss due to the decedent's death.
What Leads to a Wrongful Death?

If someone is killed in an accident as a result of negligence, then wrongful death has occurred. Obtaining compensation for your family can be accomplished with the help of a wrongful death attorney in San Ramon. Common causes include:

  • Traffic accidents: Traffic collisions are the major cause of wrongful deaths. A traffic collision may include motor vehicles, big rigs or other large trucks, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. 
  • Common carriers: Airplane crashes, bus collisions, or those involving trains can cause multiple fatalities. A San Ramon wrongful death attorney can determine who is liable for the death and hold them financially responsible for your loss. 
  • Ridesharing: Fatalities involving ridesharing services such as Lyft or Uber may be compensated and involve the driver/company or others.
  • Defective products: Automobile parts, kitchen appliances, food, medical equipment, and other dangerous cause many deaths yearly. When a defective or dangerous product results in someone's death, the manufacturer and others may be held financially liable.
  • Premises liability: Homeowners, companies, and others are responsible for providing a safe environment. If they fail and death occurs, they may be held accountable. In the case of a government entity and areas such as negligent road maintenance and other dangers, they may be held liable. However, the filing deadline against a government entity is a mere six months, so enlisting the help of a wrongful death lawyer from San Ramon may be necessary to meet deadlines and handle the case.
  • Dog attacks: Dog owners may be held financially responsible if their pet attacks someone or otherwise causes their demise.
  • Labor accidents: Accidents on construction sites or farms are common. An accident lawyer can establish negligence, gather evidence to support the claim, and hold the at-fault party responsible.
  • Intentional acts: In criminal acts such as assault that result in death, the at-fault party can be held responsible in civil court, whether they are convicted of a criminal act or not.  
What Is the Time Limit for Proving Fault and Filing a Lawsuit?

The law in California specifies that a claim for wrongful death must be filed within two years after the decedent's demise to have their case heard. The claim cannot be filed after this period has passed. A wrongful death lawyer will ensure that all necessary documents are filed promptly according to the law.

Getting the Evidence Needed to Prove Wrongful Death

Families often wonder how to prove fault when someone close to them dies due to negligence. Our law firm at AutoAccident.com has the experience and resources to do just that. We investigate an accident, injury, or death to compile the evidence needed to support the family's claim for compensation. The type of evidence collected depends on the cause of the fatality but often includes:

  • Inspecting the area where the wrongful death occurred is essential. Our investigators take photographs and examine evidence at the scene, such as paint marks in a traffic accident, kitchen damage in a fire caused by a defective stove, and others.
  • Any witnesses to the accident are interviewed for corroborating statements about the fatal accident. If one of the witnesses taped the accident on their smartphone, that can provide helpful information and be used as evidence.
  • In some cases, an expert witness can be used to help solidify the claim for wrongful death. 
  • In traffic accidents, area surveillance cameras are examined, and accident reconstruction is performed.
  • When a police report has been filed, it is examined by the investigators to see if it contains any errors because mistakes can affect the client's claim for compensation. 
Compensation for Wrongful Death 

Depending on the decedent's age, income, and other considerations, wrongful death claims can recover different types of damages. These damages typically include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Income, the decedent, would have received until retirement age
  • Spouse's loss of love, emotional support, and consortium
  • The children's loss of nurturing and guidance from the deceased parent
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of household services

The family could file a survival action if a loved one lived for some time before dying. Unlike a wrongful death suit, a survival action is filed on behalf of the deceased and takes the place of a personal injury claim if the decedent had lived. Medical expenses are also compensated through a survival action.

The family might be able to ask for punitive damages if the case goes to civil court. This is allowed if the family member's death was on purpose or especially egregious. Punitive damages are awarded as punishment for the offending party and act as a deterrent to future behavior of this type. 

Attorney Ed Smith discusses wrongful death claims in this video:

Listed below are articles that provide useful information about wrongful death in California and common questions:

Call Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in San Ramon, CA

Filing a wrongful death claim may be wise if you lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence. Although it may not relieve your grief, its financial burden can be alleviated when a loved one passes away. If you want compassionate, free and friendly advice from our experienced San Ramon wrongful death lawyers, call (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. We are also available online. You are invited to look over our Settlements and Verdicts page to see how we have helped others.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 9.13.22]

Photo attribution: Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay 

:cd llo [1201] 

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
★★★★★
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
★★★★★
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
★★★★★
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
★★★★★
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
★★★★★
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.