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Woodland Wrongful Death Lawyer

Woodland Wrongful Death Lawyer

It is impossible to prepare for the sudden death of a loved one, and that death is made all the more tragic when it is due to the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else. In California, where death resulted from someone’s negligent actions, or inaction, a surviving family member of the victim has the ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Difference Between a Civil Case and a Criminal Case

In many instances where a person lost their life, there may be criminal charges brought against the at-fault individual. For example, when a drunk driver hits and kills someone. Driving over the legal limit is a criminal offense, but also serves as the basis for a civil wrongful death claim. In a criminal case, the individual charged will be looking at potential jail time if they are convicted. In contrast, a civil lawsuit is predicated on the recovery of financial compensation for the surviving family.

Example of Criminal and Civil Liability

A prime example of an accident where there may be both criminal charges and a civil claim occurred on the 10 Freeway in Fontana, CA. The driver of the Nissan Frontier crashed into the rear of another car. Two children died in the collision, according to the LA Times. Investigators at the scene of the accident discovered cans of beer inside the Nissan. This may result in the driver of the Nissan being charged criminally for operating their vehicle over the legal limit and being subject to civil liability. 

Types of Incidents that Can Result in a Wrongful Death Case

As discussed, automobile accidents are a common cause of wrongful deaths, especially when the at-fault driver was intoxicated, speeding, or texting on their cell phones. However, wrongful death can occur in a myriad of circumstances including medical malpractice, a defective consumer product, a motorcycle accident or even a vicious dog bite.

While this list describes some of the more common types of wrongful death cases that are litigated in California state courts regularly, the list is not exhaustive. Many other types of incidents resulting in death could serve as the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. If you are unsure whether you have a case, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to an experienced Woodland wrongful death lawyer to discuss the legal options you may, or may not, have.

Types of Compensatory Damages that May Be Recovered 

The objective of a wrongful death lawsuit is to help you and your family recover financial compensation after the unexpected death of a loved one to help ease the financial burden that is often associated with a sudden loss. No amount of compensatory damages can ever truly heal the wound left by the death of your loved one, but receiving financial compensation from the at-fault individual can assist in making sure the bills are paid and incurred expenses are reimbursed. The types of compensatory damages include any medical bills that were accrued when your loved one was in the hospital after the accident, funeral and burial expenses, the loss of companionship and guidance provided by your loved one, and the financial support provided by your loved one.

Immediate Action Recommended to Protect Your Legal Rights

When someone is seriously injured or killed in an accident, a proverbial clock starts ticking. This clock is known as the statute of limitations. Under California law, a surviving family member only has two years from the date of the accident that resulted in your loved one's death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in a California court. Attempting to file a lawsuit after two years has passed will likely prove to be a fruitless endeavor. Additionally, the statute of limitations is even shorter if your loved one was involved in an accident with a city or state vehicle. In those cases, you have to provide notice to the government entity within six months. This is why immediate action is strongly encouraged.

The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one is emotionally and psychologically devastating. I understand the trauma of wrongful death and am here to help. Call a Woodland Wrongful death lawyer today.

The following video further explains a wrongful death claim.

Woodland Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Woodland wrongful death lawyer. If you have lost a loved one as a result of the careless actions of someone else, I want to help you. Please reach out to me for compassionate, free and friendly legal advice by calling (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. When you call, please ask for Ed. We will go over the specifics of your case and discuss whether or not it makes sense to pursue a claim for wrongful death.

I have been working exclusively in the area of personal injury and wrongful death law since 1982.

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I am proud to be a member of the Million Dollar Forum for the state of California. The forum is for top trial lawyers with verdicts in excess of $1 million for past clients.

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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.7.19]

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