Ukiah Wrongful Death Lawyer
The unexpected death of a loved one due to negligence is one of the hardest experiences most people have to face. Suddenly, you are living in a void, absent their presence. For many people, nothing seems real, and life takes on a surreal existence. Family members experience a pain that is at once both physical and emotional. Feelings such as anger, aloneness, grief, disbelief, and sadness merge and make it almost impossible to attend to the many tasks that make up daily life. For some, at least initially, anger dominates, accompanied by a quest for justice.
Fear of not being able to pay for funeral and other end-of-life costs are faced by many families. Without the financial support provided by a loved one, house payments or sending children to school may be in jeopardy. At our firm, many clients have been in a similar position, and our hearts go out to you. Let a Ukiah wrongful death lawyer help you understand ways to protect your family and help them survive the absence of a parent, spouse, or another family member. This will not bring your loved one back, nor will it ease the pain you are feeling. A wrongful death lawsuit will take the burden of worry from you as you attempt to deal with your loved one's death.Justice for a Loved One
Whether it was a car accident or another traumatic event that caused the death of a loved one, family members want to know why the individual died at the hands of someone negligent. They may be filled with anger that someone they loved and who played by the rules had to die because of another person or corporate entity that didn't. They want that person or entity to understand there are consequences for wrongful behavior. One way to accomplish that is to make them pay financially. A wrongful death lawsuit can achieve this. Reach out to a wrongful death lawyer in Ukiah to understand how to file a claim.What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a personal injury claim by the family for the deceased. In this sense, the family picks up the gauntlet for their loved one who can no longer speak for themself. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit. Some of the common types of wrongful death lawsuits are:
- Intentional acts: Although a wrongful death lawsuit does not criminally prosecute someone for the death of another, it can be placed against someone who intentionally killed another person. The best example of this is when the family of Nicole Brown filed a lawsuit again O.J. Simpson. The evidence used in a criminal trial can be used in a civil suit. If the person is convicted of a criminal act that caused the death, it adds to the strength of a civil lawsuit. This happens because the evidence in a conviction must be beyond a reasonable doubt, while a civil suit only demands the preponderance of the facts.
- Medical malpractice: Doctors owe their best efforts to a patient. When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient or does not treat them appropriately or fails to address them, and the patient dies, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. The claim can be filed against the physician or the hospital or even a pharmacist.
- Traumatic accidents: This category includes car and truck crashes, motorcycle-related deaths, as well as fatalities involving bicyclists or pedestrians. This type of wrongful death claim is the most common.
Like other types of personal injury lawsuits, a lawyer dealing with wrongful death in Ukiah must prove negligence. This means they must prove that the negligent party or entity owed the deceased a duty of care and broke this obligation. Because of breaching their duty, the individual died, and their death caused the damages that the family is trying to recover.Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Certain family members can file a lawsuit, usually with representation by a Ukiah wrongful death attorney. They are:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The domestic partner of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- Stepchildren of the person cared for by the decedent
- Minors who lived with the deceased for six months before the death occurred and received half of their support from them
- Surviving putative spouse ( a person who believes themselves married to the deceased despite the lack of a formal ceremony)
Financial compensation will not make up for your loved one's loss. However, they would not have wanted you to worry about finances after they are gone. In California, the following are a list of damages a family member can collect:
- The lost income the decedent would have provided had they not died
- Loss of funeral and burial expenses
- The decedent's pain and suffering before death (filed in a survival action where the deceased person's anguish before dying lives on after his or her death)
- Medical treatment cost before dying
- The cost of the services the deceased generally performed for the family
- Loss of inheritance
- The loss of love and support the deceased provided his or her family
- Loss of consortium (this is filed by a spouse)
The following video explains more about wrongful death claims.How a Ukiah Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
At our law firm, we realize the difficulty and grief you are facing every day. The last thing you may be thinking about is filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, you have only so much time to file. As with other personal injury lawsuits, in California, you have two years to file. This changes if you are filing against a state or federal entity. For example, such lawsuits are filed when the decedent died due to improper road maintenance. In this case, the time limit or statute of limitations is drastically different. Your Ukiah wrongful death lawyer will ensure that all documents are filed on time.
Since proving negligence is essential, we dispatch our investigators to determine why the wrongful death occurred. They go to the accident site, interview witnesses, and talk with medical experts. If the crash happened on the road, they use accident reconstruction techniques and gather video camera footage of the incident. Once all information is amassed, the investigators release it to our lawyers to build a strong case for the family.Ukiah Wrongful Death Lawyer
I'm Ed Smith, a Ukiah wrongful death lawyer. If you lost a loved one due to negligence, call me to hear my free and friendly advice. I can be reached at (707) 564-1900 in Ukiah or (800) 404-6400 in the surrounding area. You can also contact me online.
To learn about my practice, use the following links:
Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash
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