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A wrongful death claim may be filed when negligent acts or product defects have resulted in the death of a loved one. By filing a wrongful death claim, you can recover for your harms and losses from the insurance carrier of the individual or company who is legally liable.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident, the responsible party can, and should, be held accountable. Of course, no amount of money can replace a loved one, but holding the responsible party accountable helps provide some justice to your deceased loved one and you, and helps society by deterring other injuries and/or death caused from someone’s negligence or product defects. Your loved one would certainly want to prevent others from being injured or killed needlessly as they were. Some may say that bringing a claim increases insurance rates for everyone else; I say that the person who was careless, or the manufacturer that manufactured a defective product, is the one to blame if insurance is expensive, and deterring wrongful conduct actually helps keep insurance rates lower.
When Can a Wrongful Death Claim be Filed?
Any heir, and/or the legal representative of the deceased person’s estate, may bring a wrongful death claim when another person or business caused the death. The best wrongful death attorneys in Lincoln, CA, will advocate for that representative. For wrongful death to be applicable, there needs to be a liable, or responsible, party that caused the death to occur. The following are just two examples:
Negligence: Most wrongful death claims are filed on the grounds of negligence. That means that the liable party was not intentionally trying to harm the victim, but caused an accident as a result of their own negligence. Fatal car accidents, for example, can often result in wrongful death claims when one party is liable because he/she was careless, reckless, drunk, distracted (such as texting), was speeding, carelessly changing lanes, etc.
Product Defects: A manufacturer that places a defective product into the stream of commerce, which then injures or kills someone due to the defect, is strictly liable for the wrongful death. Manufacturers are also required to provide adequate warnings to consumers concerning dangers of the product, and if the manufacturer does not adequately warn consumers, causing injury or death, then the manufacturer is strictly liable. The manufacturer may also be liable based on a design defect, or negligent defect, or based on the product’s warranty, if the product caused death or injury.
Wrongful Death Damages: Every wrongful death case is unique and the legal damages for the claimant’s losses vary. Some of the damages are the loss of love, affection, financial support, emotional support, loss of income, medical costs, loss of guardianship, funeral costs, loss of companionship, and the like. In general, the stronger and more loving relationship you had with the lost loved one, the higher the damages are. Of course, children and parents are especially damaged if they lose the other because they are losing many years of love and support. A wrongful death lawsuit attorney can help you to identify the damages you are owed.
Statute of Limitations: In California, there are various statutes of limitations, potentially as short as six months. That means that the claim must be filed by an heir or the representative of the victim’s estate within the applicable time period after death or the claim will be denied and the loved ones will not recover for any of their harms and losses. The sooner a claim is filed, the better the chances of a successful settlement.
If you or your family has been impacted by a wrongful death, don’t hesitate to contact DB Hill Law for a consultation with the best wrongful death suit lawyers in Lincoln, CA. We can advise you on the right steps for getting your wrongful death claim filed, and recovering for the harms and losses that were thrust into your life.
We always begin with a free consultation, allowing us to become acquainted with you and your unique case. Having a professional wrongful death attorney, you won’t need to pay anything, unless we win. Contact a professional wrongful death attorney in Lincoln, CA right away to seek legal counsel.