A wrongful death case arises when someone dies due to the oversight, negligence, carelessness or deliberate act of another, usually in a circumstance that could have been prevented if the offending party had taken more care. These deaths are sudden and traumatic accidents, either of a direct nature, such as in the case of a violent crime, or indirect such as in the negligence of a business owner to follow standard safety regulations.
They could also be due to actions of another party that can only be deemed outright reckless, such as in the case of a drunk driver plowing into a sidewalk full of innocent people. Still other times, a wrongful death can result from medical malpractice where a doctor or other healthcare professional gave the wrong medication in an emergency by mistake which led to the death of the patient.
As you can see, there are many complex components of wrongful death, which is why it’s wise to hire a wrongful death lawyer in Riverside County.
In 2015, there were 146,000 unintentional injury deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC. The most common causes of death are unintentional falls, motor vehicle traffic deaths and unintentional poisoning deaths, followed by medical malpractice, unsafe premises and workplace fatalities.
If a loved one has met their sudden demise due to the negligence of another, you need to let a professional handle your case while you grieve and try to put the pieces of your life back together. An important component of that is of a financial nature. Here at Kuzyk Law, we can help you understand your legal rights under California law.
Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation now at 661-945-6969.
We know it can be confusing and overwhelming to choose a lawyer. Do you even need one? Many times, yes. Read on for some reasons why you should hire a wrongful death lawyer.
Circumstance of the Death
Whether you can file a wrongful death suit will vary with the circumstances of death. California law says you can file a lawsuit if it involves negligence, recklessness or intentional wrongful acts. For example, if your loved one was determined to have caused a car accident that took their lives, you probably have no case. If that accident was determined to be caused by a distracted driver who wandered over the center line due to texting, there is likely grounds here for a case. Here are some other circumstances where you could prove negligence as the foundation of your case.
- Drunk driving accidents: The motorist was driving under the influence.
- Drowning accidents: A property owner did not supervise a child or other person in their care.
- Product liability cases: A defective product caused a preventable death.
The ability to prove negligence: this forms the foundation of any wrongful death claim. If you can’t prove this, you can’t move forward and pursue legal action.
Approved Family Members
Under California law, only certain family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These include:
- Immediate members of the family
- Stepchildren who were dependent on the deceased
- Other parties entitled to the deceased’s estate
It can be tough to determine eligibility, but your chosen lawyer will help you. This will be based entirely on your relationship to the deceased.
Financial and Emotional Losses
An economic burden is placed on the surviving family – even more so when the deceased was considered to be the breadwinner. There are costs associated with the actual death, such as medical expenses and funeral bills; however, there are many ongoing financial costs such as mortgages and other bills. Non-economic damages can be emotional in nature, such as loss of companionship and loss of consortium (intimacy).
Guidance in the Process
If you are aware you need help and you think you have a solid case, but don’t know the next steps, this is a perfect time to contact a wrongful death attorney in Riverside County. Your lawyer will sit down with you to hear the details of the case, take on your case if there are grounds, then handle all the details, file paperwork, collect evidence and do all the legwork.
The emotional impact of losing a loved one can leave you in shock, clouding your judgement in daily activities, to be sure, but also the ability to think into the future. After all, you may have kids to worry about. Plus, you have to head back to work at some point to start paying the bills. And if you don’t have the time, knowledge or energy to handle the back and forth with the insurance companies, it can be extremely comforting to know someone has your back.
Here at Kuzyk Law, we work with many wrongful death cases with details similar to yours. Working with our Riverside County wrongful death lawyers gives you guidance and support to navigate your case, backed by compassionate yet aggressive representation to ensure you are not taken advantage of.
Contact Kuzyk Law
Kuzyk Law, trusted personal injury law firm in Riverside County since 1971, is available 24/7, so please give us a call for a free, no-obligation consultation today at 661-945-6969.