The loss of a loved one is an emotionally-charged experience that brings on immediate feelings of being overwhelmed, saddened and angry, especially when the loss ends in a preventable act of negligence or wrongful conduct. As part of the remaining grieving family members, you must know your legal rights when it comes to a preventable death, leading to the justice and compensation you deserve.
What’s also important is choosing the right Lancaster wrongful death attorney who will stand behind you in that fight for justice. The numbers are appalling. In 2015, there were 146,000 unintentional injury deaths, according to the CDC, with the top three causes of death including unintentional falls, motor vehicle traffic deaths and accidental poisoning deaths. The list continues with unsafe premises, medical malpractice and workplace fatalities.
A wrongful death is when a person dies in a way that could have been prevented had the offending party taken more care. These cases range from violent crimes to failure to follow standard safety regulations. Has your loved one met their sudden demise due to the negligence of another? You may ask yourself: do I need to contact a Lancaster wrongful death attorney for help?
Here at Kuzyk Law, we can help answer that question for you through a no-cost initial consultation. Here are some important considerations that will help you grasp what your legal rights are under California law and when you should contact a lawyer.
You should hire a wrongful death attorney in Lancaster when…
You are an Eligible Family Member
Only certain family members can legally file a wrongful death lawsuit. Are you:
- An immediate member of the family, such as spouse, domestic partner, child or grandchild?
- A stepchild who was dependent on the deceased?
- Entitled to the deceased’s estate according to a will or other legal document?
If you answered yes to any of those, turn to your legal team to determine eligibility based on your relationship to the deceased.
The Circumstances of Death Indicate Negligence, Recklessness or Intentional Wrongdoing
In California, you may only file such a lawsuit if it involves negligence, recklessness or intentional wrongful acts. Let’s say your loved one died in a car accident where they were determined to be at fault. You wouldn’t have a case because their death was not caused by another. If, on the other hand, that accident was caused by another driver’s negligence in some way, you could have a case.
Here are some more examples:
- Drunk driving accidents where the other motorist was driving under the influence.
- Surgical or medical error on the part of a doctor or other healthcare provider.
- Drowning accidents where the property owner failed to ensure adequate supervision.
- Product liability cases where a defective product caused a death.
Bottom line? If you can’t prove negligence, you generally cannot pursue legal action.
Prove Financial and Emotional Losses
When the loss of a loved one, such as the breadwinner of the family, creates an economic burden on the surviving family, there are many costs associated with both the actual death (hospital and funeral bills) and the aftermath (mortgage, car payments, cost of daily living). Then, on top of those financial concerns, there are emotional burdens that can take a toll, too, such as loss of companionship and loss of consortium (intimacy).
Need Assistance with the Process
You may understand your rights and believe you have an open and shut case. You just need someone to help you and provide guidance. Other times, you may not be so sure and need help determining how to move forward. Either way, it’s a good idea to just pick up the phone and call for a free consultation. You really have nothing to lose.
From evidence collection to filing of important paperwork, your wrongful death attorney in Lancaster can handle all the details and correspondence with the insurance companies. You are understandably still reeling from the loss you have suffered and need the peace of mind that comes with having someone else take over in your best interests.
We can provide that peace of mind for you here at Kuzyk Law, where we work with wrongful death cases regularly and successfully. We’ll give you the necessary guidance and support to handle your case, backed by aggressive representation that ensures you are not taken advantage of during this vulnerable time.
Contact Kuzyk Law
Kuzyk Law, the trusted personal injury law firm in Lancaster since 1971, would be happy to give you a free, no-obligation consultation today at 661-945-6969.