Waterford Wrongful Death Lawyer
Few events in life can affect families, like the loss of a close relative. When the death of a loved one results from someone else's negligent behavior, it becomes even more challenging to accept. While there is no way to compensate for the loss of someone you love, surviving family members may seek justice and compensation by contacting an experienced wrongful death attorney serving Waterford, California.
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries in an accident because of someone else's negligence, contact our Waterford wrongful death attorneys at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400. We are available anytime to discuss your loss and provide free, friendly legal advice on your options for recovery.
As you and your family grieve and recover from your loss, it can be challenging to handle all aspects of your wrongful death case alone. Trust our legal team to handle your claim and provide it with the care and attention it deserves. No matter the circumstances of your case, our law firm is prepared to protect your best interests and legal rights after the wrongful death of a loved one. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to evaluate your claim.Which Surviving Family Members are Entitled to Wrongful Death Benefits?
Who can file a wrongful death claim will depend on which relative survives the decedent and the state law that applies to the case. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, the following parties may have the legal right to file for wrongful death in Waterford, CA:
- Domestic Partner
- Another relative who depended on the deceased person for services or support (e.g., parents, stepchildren, putative spouse, and children of the putative spouse)
To determine your eligibility for a wrongful death claim in California, it is essential to contact a skilled lawyer for a free case evaluation to discuss your legal options for recovery. Our Waterford wrongful death attorneys offer free consultations and can help your family take the proper steps to ensure you all receive justice and fair compensation for your loss.How Wrongful Death Damages Are Calculated
To calculate the value of a wrongful death settlement, the case must consider how surviving family members have suffered from losing a loved one. Some losses may be emotional and mental, while others are financial. The lives of those impacted may be changed forever in an instant. All economic and non-economic damages are devastating and worthy of fair financial compensation. Some of the compensatory damages that may be included in a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical expenses of the decedent for treatment related to the final injury suffered in the fatal accident
- Final resting expenses for the deceased such as funeral and burial services
- Lost wages that the loved one would have contributed to the household
- Compensation for services that the decedent once provided for the family, like caring for children and household tasks
- Loss of access to future financial support and benefits like medical insurance and pension
- Loss of a loved one's guidance, companionship, care, and protection
Filing a wrongful death claim requires the legal help of a skilled attorney and calls for qualified experts to prove the damages incurred. Hiring the right Waterford wrongful death attorney to represent your case is essential as future losses require expert witness testimony from an economist or other qualified professional. Your attorney will have the resources to provide that for your wrongful death case. For details on how to find the best wrongful death lawyer in Waterford to handle your claim, watch the video below.How are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out in California?
The individual or entity who caused the fatal accident is who pays for a wrongful death lawsuit. To determine who pays for wrongful death, consider whose negligence caused the deadly incident. Generally, the insurance company representing the at-fault party provides compensation to ensure that surviving family members receive the wrongful death settlement they need. If a mutual settlement agreement is not reached with the insurer, the matter may be taken to court for a jury to decide a verdict. Naming the appropriate parties in a wrongful death lawsuit to take to trial is essential. A Waterford wrongful death attorney can protect your legal rights and best interests as they work to identify potential negligent parties in your case.
Before accepting a wrongful death settlement from the insurance company, speak to one of our wrongful death attorneys in Waterford, as your case may be worth far more than what the insurer has offered. Insurance carriers are focused on protecting their bottom line. To minimize their financial liability, they will use any defense tactic to downplay the value of a wrongful death car accident claim. One of the most common tactics is offering a quick settlement in hopes of surviving family members accepting before seeking further damages. Do not let the insurance company take advantage of your family and vulnerable situation. Seek justice and closure for your family by retaining a skilled attorney today.What Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Do?
When considering taking legal action against the at-fault party through a wrongful death lawsuit, working with an experienced and qualified attorney is essential. Such cases can become challenging quickly. Because negligent parties will have insurance companies with defense counsel protecting their financial liability, you do not want to be taken advantage of in your time of loss and grief. The at-fault party and their insurer's goal is to minimize fault and reduce any final wrongful death settlement amount. They may even go as low as blaming a lost loved one for what happened.
A wrongful death attorney in Waterford will work diligently on behalf of surviving family members by:
- Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting All Wrongful Death Evidence: It is challenging to collect, preserve, and present all the evidence necessary to bring a successful wrongful death claim forward. An experienced attorney must obtain CHP traffic accident reports, video surveillance, eyewitness statements, and more. If a government entity is involved, it is essential to act quickly. The two-year statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit brought against a government agency is shortened to 180 days or six months, according to the California Government Code Section 911.2.
- Retaining an Accident Reconstructionist: If the loss of a loved one resulted from a fatal accident, it might be necessary to retain an accident reconstruction expert for the wrongful death case. Reconstructing a deadly incident can help provide the evidence needed to prove the other party's negligence.
- Correctly Calculating Wrongful Death Damages: Calculating the value of a wrongful death case can be challenging as it involves looking into the future. Your attorney will work with experts on your case to correctly calculate factors such as the psychological and emotional damage to surviving family members and what the decedent would have provided to the family.
- Negotiate on Your Behalf: Your wrongful death attorney in Waterford will be the one to handle communications with the insurance company representing the at-fault party or your own in such cases. The attorney will negotiate with the insurance carrier and defense counsel as they work towards a wrongful death settlement covering all your losses. If a mutual settlement agreement cannot be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit to protect the two-year statute of limitations that applies to your case.
- Preparing Your Wrongful Death Case for Trial: Your Waterford wrongful death lawyer will not settle your case for an amount less than what you and your family deserve. If necessary, your attorney will prepare your case and present it in court for a jury to decide a fair verdict for your family's needs.
Because the facts and circumstances of each wrongful death case are unique, it can be challenging to prove liability. A skilled Waterford wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family navigate the claims process and gather and preserve the evidence necessary for building the strongest case possible for financial compensation.
Our attorneys offer free consultations so you and your family can learn about your legal rights and discuss your options. We handle wrongful death cases under a contingency fee arrangement, meaning we do not charge any fees for our legal services until we recover fair compensation for you and your family. Contact our law firm today to learn how we can help you and your family through this difficult time.
Editor's Note: updated 4.17.23 Image Credit: By "vlanka" via Pixabay ds [cs 1435] cha