STOCKTON INJURY ATTORNEY HELPS VICTIMS OF A WRONGFUL DEATH ACCIDENTS
A wrongful death can be a result of many different things such as:
- Drunk drivers
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Slip and fall
When you have lost a loved one due the negligence of others, you need to contact a Stockton injury attorney immediately to discuss the types of compensation you deserve.
What is Wrongful Death?
Generally speaking, a wrongful death occurs when one person causes the death of another without a lawful excuse for causing it. It’s important to keep in mind that although wrongful death cases and personal injury lawsuits have many similarities, they are different. Both are based upon the theory of negligence and results in injuries. The difference lies in who has the ability to bring an action forward and what area of compensation is awarded. When a person is severely injured in an accident, they take action to demand compensation in a personal injury claim. However, when a person dies, instead of the victim receiving compensation, it is the decedent’s heirs that will receive compensation. Losing a loved one in a wrongful death is a devastating and emotional event. The emotional consequences of such an event requires a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to help the family emotionally and financially. Contact an experienced attorney who can help you and your family during this painful time.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action, as opposed to criminal like homicide which is brought by the government in order to punish the wrongdoer. Civil actions cannot seek imprisonment or punishment to the wrongdoer. Instead, they seek monetary award for financial losses.
Who should consult a wrongful death attorney?
Losing someone close to you can cause a wide variety of emotions including pain, anger and demand for compensation. However, not everyone is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. In California, those who would be entitled to inherit from the deceased in the absence of a will as well as a personal representative of the deceased’s estate are allowed to bring a claim. More specifically, the following are allowed:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s domestic partner if the domestic partnership was registered
- The deceased’s living children
- The children of any child of the deceased if that child is no longer living
- The surviving spouse of a void marriage
- The deceased’s stepchildren if they were dependent upon the deceased for support
- The deceased’s parents if they were dependent upon the deceased for support
- If the deceased has no surviving children, siblings or other relatives, then anyone can bring the case
- Every situation is different and it’s best to contact a Stockton injury attorney for guidance.
What damages are recoverable in a wrongful death claim?
There is a variety of damages recoverable in a wrongful death claim depending on the factors of the case. In addition to the losses to the estate, people who are entitled to sue can also seek compensation for their own losses such as financial and emotional. California does not place a limit on a wrongful death award.
Losses that are typically attributed to the estate are:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical and hospital bills for the deceased person’s final illness or injury
- Lost income, including potential income of the deceased or those who had lost income because of the death
Losses that are typically attributed to the surviving family members are:
- The value of household services
- Loss of anticipated financial support
- Loss of love, community, attention, affection, moral support and guidance
The specific amounts involved in a case is dependent on many different factors. A skilled Stockton injury attorney can better guide you through the process.
California Statutes of Limitations
If a loved one has dies due to negligence, do not wait to file for a wrongful death claim. In California, a lawsuit for wrongful death must be filed within 2 years after the date of death. If it is not filed within this time frame, you will lose your right to seek compensation. If the claim is based on medical malpractice or government entities, the process can take a lot longer so don’t wait to contact a lawyer. A wrongful death is a very emotional experience to go through but you don’t have to be alone. Contact a Stockton injury attorney immediately!