West Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer
According to a survey published by Bankrate, approximately 57 percent of Americans do not have enough money to withstand a $500 unexpected expense. The survey revealed that only four out of 10 Americans said they had enough money in their savings to sufficiently cover an unanticipated $500 expense. Another 21 percent said they would rely on a credit card, while another 20 percent said they would try to reduce their expenses. Now imagine if you wake up one day and discover that your spouse or parent died in an automobile accident. In the flash of a moment, you are now confronted with covering all of the family expenses without the financial support of your loved one.
This means the ramifications of a deadly accident can reverberate far beyond the person who lost their life. An unexpected death can leave families destitute and in financial turmoil.
If that is not bad enough, fatal accidents are a fairly common occurrence in and around West Sacramento. Take, for example, the tragic accident involving a motorcyclist who collided with an SUV. This fatal collision occurred on Highway 50, just east of Harbor Boulevard. The operator of the Yamaha motorcycle was ejected after colliding with the SUV. As a result, the motorcyclist lost his life. This means the family of the motorcyclist may be left to struggle with the financial strain that often comes with this type of loss.Taking Legal Action Through a West Sacramento Wrongful Death Claim
When a family loses a loved one in a preventable accident, they have the legal right to pursue monetary compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company through a civil wrongful death claim.
You only have a finite period of time to file this claim. According to California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant. If your loved one lost their life as the result of negligent actions, or inactions, of a city or local government employee, the limitations period is confined to six months after the fatal incident under California Government Code § 911.2.Wrongful Death Case Different from Criminal Case
You may be thinking, “If my family member died due to the wrongdoing of another person, wouldn’t it be the responsibility of the State Attorney General’s Office to take legal action?” Yes, it is true that, in some deadly auto accidents, criminal charges may be brought against the negligent driver, especially if there is evidence that the driver was heavily intoxicated, texting and driving, or traveling at a high rate of speed. But it is important to understand that even if the state brings a criminal case, the family of the victim retains the right to pursue a civil claim in a West Sacramento civil court.Who Can File a Civil Wrongful Death Claim?
Along with understanding the distinction between a civil case and criminal case, it is important to understand that a wrongful death case can only be brought by specific family members in a West Sacramento court. Under California law, the surviving family members empowered to pursue a wrongful death claim include a surviving spouse, surviving child, surviving sibling, surviving parent, or other members of the decedent’s family. In addition, only one claim is typically allowed to be filed in court. That means if a spouse and a sibling of the decedent file two separate lawsuits, a court will likely consolidate those cases into one case to promote judicial efficiency.
For more information on a wrongful death claim, watch the following video:What Can Be Recovered Through a Wrongful Death Claim?
To help alleviate the financial strain often associated with a sudden loss of life, the California legislature enacted a series of statutes that enable a surviving family member to seek monetary compensation for any medical bills incurred by the victim prior to their passing. For example, if a victim suffered severe bodily injuries in a collision with a tractor-trailer and received emergency care at a local hospital, those bills can be reimbursed through a wrongful death claim. In addition, you can pursue reimbursement for the cost of the funeral and burial of your loved one.
Furthermore, you can seek compensation for the reasonable future earnings of the victim, based upon a projection of what they would have earned had they lived. You can also seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, and mental anguish.Benefits of Retaining a West Sacramento Wrongful Death Attorney
Filing a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver who took your loved one’s life can be a stressful and emotionally-draining venture. Filing this claim will require providing sufficient documentation of the loss and negotiating with the negligent driver’s insurance company. For those unfamiliar with the legal process, the thought of haggling with an insurance adjuster after losing a spouse, child, parent, etc. is a horrifying thought. That is why it makes sense to retain a West Sacramento wrongful death attorney to take that burden off of your shoulders. An experienced accident lawyer will be equipped to take on the multitude of tasks and responsibilities associated with pursuing a wrongful death claim, including contacting any eyewitnesses who saw the collision, reviewing the accident report, compiling medical records and financial statements, filing a lawsuit, taking depositions, etc. and so forth. You should focus your time on picking up the pieces of your life and getting through the grieving process.West Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a West Sacramento Wrongful Death Attorney. The loss of a loved one in an auto accident, tractor-trailer wreck, crosswalk accident, or any other type of preventable accident is a devastating event for any family. If you need an experienced attorney to fight for your rights after an accident, please don’t hesitate to call me at 916.921.6400 for free and friendly advice. You can also find me on my website: AutoAccident.com.
You can find summaries of my past Verdicts and Settlements on my website.
:sid rey [cs 1074]
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.10.19]