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Sonora Wrongful Death Lawyer

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The loss of a close relative is the most devastating type of trauma a family may experience. The thought that someone else’s negligence led to that loss often compounds the grieving process with anger and frustration. Since 1982, our wrongful death lawyers in Sonora have obtained justice and fair compensation for surviving family members who have tragically lost a close relative because of someone else’s negligent actions. While our legal team recognizes that no amount of money can undo the pain of such a life-changing tragedy, we also understand that such losses can have immense emotional and financial hardship for survivors already trying to come to terms with the unexpected loss of a loved one.

Our wrongful death attorneys help families in Sonora and across California navigate the claims process while protecting their rights with care and compassion. Get started on your case for justice and fair compensation by calling (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice today.

Do not let difficult insurance companies tell you how to handle the death of your loved one. Talk with a skilled Sonora wrongful death lawyer from our law firm to understand your case and your legal rights for recovery moving forward. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. During the free consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys, you will learn about your legal options and our experience handling cases like yours. We serve clients in Sonora and throughout Tuolumne County, California.

What is Wrongful Death?

Under California law, wrongful death is considered the loss of life caused by the negligence of another individual or entity. In the immediate aftermath of a fatal accident in Sonora, the decedent’s surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death claim, which is a civil case, against the party responsible for the loss.

What Damages are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When somebody loses their life because of someone else’s negligence, surviving family members may seek financial compensation under specific circumstances by filing a wrongful death claim. The idea of taking legal action may be far from the minds of survivors if they recently lost someone they love in a fatal incident. However, the right Sonora wrongful death attorneys can handle delicate financial and legal matters that may arise if a Sonora family has experienced an unexpected tragedy.

Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit serve the purpose of holding the negligent party financially accountable for their wrongdoing and compensating surviving family members for their loss. In other words, wrongful death damages can help make a family whole again. There are three types of recoverable damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages represent financial losses, non-economic damages consider intangible harms, and punitive damages are designed to hold the at-fault party responsible for their egregious conduct.

How are Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts Determined?

Determining the value of a wrongful death settlement is not straightforward as many factors are involved in the legal process. A significant factor in calculating economic damages in a wrongful death case is the age, health, life expectancy, education, and employment of the decedent when the fatal incident happened, particularly about lost future financial support. For instance, when an eligible surviving family member suddenly loses a close relative they depended on for financial support, there may be many years of potential lost earnings that the survivor may be entitled to. A Sonora wrongful death attorney often retains an expert witness like an economist to provide testimony by calculating and proving the fair and reasonable value of lost wages for survivors.

On the other hand, non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim are challenging to prove. They generally represent the mental anguish surviving family members have suffered and the loss of the deceased’s care, companionship, guidance, and support. Punitive damages generally include awards intended to punish the at-fault party and deter them from engaging in egregious conduct in the future. The calculation of damages for wrongful death is challenging, and expert witnesses are often retained to provide their professional opinions about the fair and reasonable value of wrongful death damages for surviving family members. Considering this, it is best to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to discuss a potential case for the recovery of damages incurred.

Who Has Standing to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

When you are prepared to bring a wrongful death car accident case, it is essential to understand who can bring a claim and when you should file with the court. While many surviving family members may grieve the loss of a loved one, only specific relatives can take legal action against the at-fault party.

In California, the decedent’s spouse, domestic partner, and spouse are given the first opportunity to bring a wrongful death case forward. Some decedents may not have a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or child at the time of their death. In this case, the deceased's stepchildren, parents, putative spouse, and putative spouse’s children may be able to bring a wrongful death case instead. For additional information on who can file a wrongful death suit, refer to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60.

When Can a Wrongful Death Suit Be Filed?

It is essential to note that surviving family members only have two years from the date of a close relative’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit with the court. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. While the two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death in California may seem like ample time, you may be surprised how much time can go by while coming to terms with the loss of someone you love. Aside from this, the evidence needed to prove a wrongful death claim may be lost or destroyed over time. That is why you must contact a Sonora wrongful death lawyer to collect compelling evidence immediately and start the claims process as soon as possible.

How Do I Choose a Sonora Wrongful Death Attorney?

When you retain a wrongful death lawyer to handle your case, you are hiring a law firm that will act as a legal team working closely with you and your family. You should hire a legal team with whom you feel comfortable because they will be guiding you and your family throughout the claims process. The law firm should have years of experience handling cases like yours and has successfully resolved many similar ones. That legal team should have the experience, skills, and resources needed to prove your case and successfully litigate it. Watch the video below for tips on how to choose the right wrongful death lawyer in Sonora for your case.

Speak with a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

A wrongful death lawsuit is challenging, and dealing with difficult insurance companies, government entities, and businesses is the last thing surviving family members want to do during the grieving process. When faced with such a situation, our wrongful death law firm can help. We are available anytime to provide you with the legal representation and compassionate guidance you need so you can focus on being with your loved ones.

Our skilled Sonora wrongful death attorneys will work diligently to advocate for your right to fair compensation. We have the experience, skills, and resources to advocate for your family and ensure your family receives the financial recovery and justice you all deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn about your potential legal options for recovery through a wrongful death claim.

Image by Joey Velasquez from Pixabay 

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