Tracy Wrongful Death Lawyer
The sudden death of a loved one is a devastating, soul-crushing experience that far too many people are forced to endure. When you discover that your loved one died due to the reckless and careless behavior of another person, your pain is likely amplified tenfold.
If someone you loved died in an accident due to someone else’s negligent actions, you may be able to hold that individual accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit. Call our injury lawyers at (209) 227-1931 for a free consultation.What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim enabling the estate of the victim to pursue monetary damages. This is different from a criminal case based on wrongful death.
Criminal cases are brought by the government against careless or reckless individuals. It is common for a reckless driver to be subjected to a criminal case if they violated the law and caused someone’s death, in addition to a civil wrongful death claim.
The amount of damages you can expect to recover through a wrongful death claim depends on various factors specifically related to the circumstances of your loved one’s death.What Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Generally, recoverable damages are divided between economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Medical bills incurred by the victim before their untimely death
- The lost income of the deceased person that they would have earned in the future had they lived
Non-economic damages are those imperceptible harms and losses. They include:
- Loss of love and companionship provided by the victim
- Loss of mentorship and guidance (especially when the victim had children)
- Severe mental and emotional trauma associated with a sudden loss
To prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff (i.e., the representative of the victim’s estate) is required to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant was negligent and that negligent action, or inaction, caused the victim’s death. In the context of a car accident, most civil courts in California utilize a reasonable person standard when analyzing the issue of negligence.
Basically, this means you need to submit evidence and convince a jury that a reasonable person would have acted much differently and with a higher standard of care than the defendant. If that is proven, the defendant will be found negligent and thereby liable for your harms and losses.
The video below explains how to prove fault in a wrongful death claim in California.How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help Your Family
The thought of hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit probably feels overwhelming and intimidating at this challenging time. Nevertheless, it is essential to protect your legal rights- an attorney can help do that. Getting the best wrongful death lawyer in Tracy involved early in your case is crucial. Why? Because an attorney can get to work right away collecting vital evidence from the accident scene, obtaining a copy of the police report, reaching out to any witnesses, and so forth.
This pre-trial investigatory work is another reason why it is wise to hire a lawyer. They take the burden of investigating the incident off your shoulders so you can focus on grieving, being with family, and putting the pieces of your life back together.How Does a Contingency Fee Work in a Wrongful Death Case?
You may have concerns over hiring an attorney because you have heard stories that lawyers charge substantial hourly fees. This is not so for wrongful death attorneys. The overwhelming majority of wrongful death attorneys in Tracy and across California operate on contingent fee agreements.
Basically, a contingency fee agreement means that you, the client, are not obligated to pay any upfront expenses. You get access to a highly skilled and experienced lawyer with no initial costs. The lawyer is only compensated if they can secure a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf. If they recover, the lawyer will receive a percentage of the total recovery (usually between 33 and 40 percent).Is There a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death?
Under California’s statute of limitations, a wrongful death action must be filed within a specific period to be considered legally valid. That time is two years from the date of your loved one’s death. For example, if your loved one passed away in an accident that occurred on September 1, 2019, you would have until September 1, 2021, to file a lawsuit in civil court.
Failing to file suit within the two-year statute of limitations will likely mean you lose the right to obtain financial recovery from the reckless individual who caused your loved one’s death.Contact a Tracy Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you lost a loved one in a fatal accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a skilled wrongful death lawyer in Tracy could help you seek justice and compensation for your loss. To learn more, call our injury lawyers now for free, friendly advice regarding your potential case at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.
Since 1982, we have helped families in San Joaquin County and California obtain justice and fair compensation for their loss.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.18.21]
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