Yreka Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death is a tragic event in a family's life. It occurs when a negligent person or entity causes a death that didn't have to happen. Most of the time, a traffic accident is the cause of wrongful death, but families can lose a loved one for other reasons, too. When you've lost a loved one in this way, our legal team can help you through this tragedy and get you the financial help and justice that your family needs.
Most people don't think about wrongful death until they lose a loved one in this way. Although losing someone you care about is terrible, the pain and sorrow from a wrongful death can be even worse. Family members are overwhelmed with grief, angry that it happened, and at a loss to cope with this tragedy.Filing a Claim for Wrongful Death
While filing a wrongful death claim cannot bring back their family member or ease their pain, it can help bring a sense of closure and address the financial stress that the loss has caused. A personal injury lawyer can help them obtain compensation to help make their transition easier by removing the financial worry.Family Members Who Can Join in a Wrongful Death Claim
- The decedent's spouse or putative spouse. A putative spouse is a person who believes they were legally married but finds out they weren't.
- Children in the household. They are naturally born, adopted, or stepchildren supported by the decedent by at least 50 percent.
- The children of a deceased offspring of the decedent may file.
- Parents who obtained at least half their financial support from the deceased family member may join the claim.
- If the decedent died without immediate heirs, other family members, including siblings or step-siblings, might file.
A family that loses their loved one because of negligence by another person or entity can recover the following compensation:
- The reasonable cost of the funeral and burial.
- Loss of support the deceased person would have earned until their retirement, including pension and insurance benefits.
- Children in the family can recover damages for losing the decedent's training, guidance, and care.
- The spouse or putative spouse can recover damages for the loss of consortium, moral support, affection, and comfort the decedent provided.
- Loss of inheritance.
- Punitive damages might be awarded through a survival action if the death was caused by egregious negligence or intentional acts.
Wrongful deaths can occur in several different ways. The one thing they have in common is that negligence or an intentional act was involved. Some ways in which a wrongful death happens include:
- Traffic accidents: Traffic collisions can include cars, trucks, and others. Types of negligence include speeding, a drunk or distracted driver, and a red light runner. The death would not have occurred in these accidents except for another's negligence.
- Work-related deaths: Most work-related deaths are covered by workers' compensation. However, when the fatality was caused by a third party, the family may file a wrongful death claim.
- Defective products: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that over 21,000 fatalities occur yearly because of a product defect. If this caused a loved one's death, a claim could be made against the manufacturer.
- Farm accidents: Rollovers, entanglement accidents, and falls are common causes of farm fatalities. The family may file a compensation claim when a lack of safety measures or hazards is the cause.
- Common carriers: Taxis, rideshare vehicles such as Uber, and buses may be responsible if an accident occurs, causing a fatality due to negligence.
- Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycle accident fatalities caused by a negligent passenger vehicle driver, government negligence, a defective part, or other causes can be compensated through a wrongful death claim.
- Pedestrian accident fatalities: Pedestrian fatalities are often caused by a negligent motorist. However, government negligence caused by a lack of maintenance can also result in a pedestrian fatality.
- Medical malpractice: A misdiagnosis, poor hospital care, wrong-site surgery, and other causes can lead to wrongful death.
Watch the video below to learn more about wrongful death claims.Helping the Grieving Family After a Death
Expressing their sympathy and support for a grieving family can be difficult for some. They simply don't know how to deal with the shock, disbelief, and grief the family is going through. However, the best way to help is to be as supportive as possible, including:
- Send the family flowers and a sympathy card, or call them to express empathy for their loss.
- If you are allowed to visit the grieving family, be a good listener. It is essential for someone who has lost a loved one to talk about this. It’s one of the ways they work their way through the stages of grief. It’s customary to send a prepared dish or deliver food to the home. Those who lost a loved one often have a lot of company and don't think about preparing food for themselves.
- Help around the house if possible. This can range from cutting the grass to washing dishes. Offering to run errands can also be helpful, including taking children to school or picking them up.
A related article by Yreka wrongful death lawyer Ed Smith:
Call us for free and friendly advice at (530) 392-900 or (800) 404-5400 if you want information on filing a claim for wrongful death. We would be honored to answer your questions and tell you what options are available.