CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Winters Wrongful Death Lawyer

statutes

The death of a loved one is one of the most psychologically traumatic events one will experience in life.  When the death occurs due to another person or entity’s negligence - a wrongful death - the heartbreak is often compounded by feelings of anger, guilt, confusion, and frustration.  

It is not only psychological damage that a wrongful death can leave behind.  In the tragic circumstances of an unexpected death, there are often financial repercussions.  In addition to funeral and burial costs, the deceased may have been working to provide for a family, and the death will result in a substantial loss of income.  When financial worries are piled on top of grief, the situation can quickly become completely overwhelming.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

When the death was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct of another person, business, or governmental agency, there may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit would be brought by the decedent’s close family members - usually a spouse, a parent, or children of the deceased.  The lawsuit would seek compensation for the surviving family's financial losses that resulted from the death of their loved one. 

We hope that you never find yourself facing such tragic circumstances.  If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident, our Winters wrongful death lawyers can provide you with compassionate legal advice.

Civil Remedies Versus Criminal Charges

Sometimes, there may be a criminal case associated with a fatal incident.  The criminal matter will remain a separate and distinct entity from any civil wrongful death lawsuit. The criminal matter will be focusing on the punishment of the person responsible for the death. The civil lawsuit will seek to recover financial compensation for the surviving family of the decadent.  There is not always a criminal case.  When the death was caused by simple negligence, there may not be any evidence of any criminal behavior.  That does not mean that there will be no avenue to recover monetary damages via a civil claim.  

Watch the YouTube video below that provides a simple explanation of the difference between civil and criminal matters.

Wrongful Death - Common Scenarios

Wrongful death is a term that describes a fatality that occurs caused by the wrongful act(s) of another person or entity. Examples include negligent behavior, such as reckless or careless driving, and intentional acts, such as vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter, or murder.

Other examples of scenarios where wrongful death associated with negligence could occur include slip and fall incidents at a business or public facility and fatal injuries caused by medical malpractice.

A Skilled Attorney Can Help

Pursuing a wrongful death case can be time-consuming, complex, and emotionally taxing, especially during the investigation and discovery phases.  However, both are important to a case’s success.  A compassionate Winters wrongful death lawyer will make the legal process as painless as possible.  It helps to know that your rights and financial interests will be safeguarded by a skilled professional.

Who Can File a California Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Only specific individuals have the standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent. They include:

  • The spouse or domestic partner of the decedent
  • The children of the decedent
  • The parents of the decedent
  • Other heirs

Because multiple people can sue for wrongful death, there may exist a conflict of interest, and sometimes there will be multiple attorneys involved.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit - What is Recoverable?

Several expenses are recoverable to surviving heirs via a wrongful death lawsuit. They generally include:

  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Loss of future income that the decedent would have reasonably been expected to earn in their lifetime, as well as the value of lost household services
  • The loss of the love, company, and affection of the decedent

Properly documenting losses and damages is a crucial component to a successful wrongful death case.  However, these elements of damage are often not highlighted and presented as well as they could be.  A Winters wrongful death lawyer with expertise and experience can ensure that the full extent of your losses is presented, documented, and ultimately recovered.

Is There a Time Limit in Which a Claim Must be Filed?

In most wrongful death claims, California's two-year statute of limitations within which the case must be settled or a lawsuit filed applies.  However, that time may be shorter - such as if the negligent party is a public or governmental entity - or longer when the plaintiff is a minor.  If you miss the proper legal deadline to act, you could lose all rights to file a wrongful death lawsuit.  This is another important reason why we advise talking with a Winters wrongful death lawyer.

Discuss Your Case with a Winters Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have suffered the heartbreak of losing a beloved family member as a result of another party's negligence, don't hesitate to reach out to our compassionate Winters wrongful death lawyers for free and friendly legal advice at (530) 392-9400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

To learn important information about our firm, please look at our Verdicts and Settlements page.  There are also many reviews from past clients posted on AvvoYelp, and Google.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 7.29.21]

Image by Karina Cubillo from Pixabay 

mm [cs 878] cha

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
★★★★★
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
★★★★★
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
★★★★★
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
★★★★★
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
★★★★★
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.