California Wrongful Death Accident Lawyer
Losing a loved one for any reason can already be a very difficult experience, but knowing that their death occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence can make a painful experience even worse. If you are having to deal with this terrible situation, now is not the time to try to face it on your own. Reach out to one of the experienced California wrongful death attorneys at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law.
Singh Ahluwalia attorneys have a proven track record of compassionate care for our clients. We have helped many families facing difficult situations and will continue to provide that care to your family. We will work with you to ensure that you have the best chance at receiving the full amount of compensation that your family needs to recover financially from their loss.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online, to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We will listen to the details of your case and design an individualized legal strategy that will give you the best chance of holding every party responsible for your loved one’s wrongful death. Let us help take some of the burden from you and your family during this difficult time.
A California Wrongful Death Attorney Will Work For You
The lawyers at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law have years of experience working on many types of cases, from immigration issues to wrongful death suits. Once you contact us, one of our experienced attorneys will get work fighting for you.
Trying to navigate this process without an experienced lawyer can leave you susceptible to lowball offers from an insurance company that is much more worried about its bottom line than yours. Let us use our years of experience to fight for you and your family during every step of your case.
Once you’ve come in for your free, confidential consultation, we will immediately get to work investigating your case. We will look at all the details available to determine who was at fault for your loved one’s wrongful death. Once we have done that, we will devise a legal strategy specific to your case that will give you the best chance at recovering the compensation that you require to recover from your loved one’s death.
We know that no amount of money will be worth losing a family member, but you shouldn’t have to deal with new financial struggles in such a difficult time.
In California, if someone is believed to have been a victim of a wrongful death, family members can sue the responsible party for their wrongdoing or negligence, as outlined in California’s Code of Civil Procedure. Some of the most common situations that result in a wrongful death are:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Assault and battery
- Medical Malpractice
- Abuse or neglect
- Manslaughter or Murder
California also has a legal doctrine of “strict liability” that states that a defendant can be held liable for injuries or death even if they were not negligent in two situations:
- If a product used in a reasonable way is defective, or
- If you are bitten or mauled by a dog in a public area or a private place where you are not trespassing
Though this list names some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths, it is not exhaustive. If you believe that your family member was killed as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, reach out to us today so we can get started on helping you determine your next steps.
California Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
The window in which you are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California is limited. California has what is called a statute of limitations, which is a legal term that means the time limit someone has when filing a lawsuit. If you choose to file a claim after the statute expires, your case will likely be dismissed.
Generally speaking, you will have two years from the date of the victim’s death to bring forward a suit. However, there are a few exceptions. If you believe that the victim died due to medical malpractice, you have a year from the date the discovery of medical negligence is made, or up to three years from the victim’s death, whichever occurs first.
Medical malpractice can occur when a hospital, doctor, or other medical practice or professional causes injury or death to a patient in one of two ways. The first is injury caused by a negligent act, while the second is injury caused by failure to act. In either of those circumstances, medical malpractice is a serious act and is taken as such by the state of California.
If you are thinking of filing a wrongful death suit, it is likely in your best interest to consult with an experienced wrongful death accident lawyer first. An attorney from Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can walk you through the entire process of filing a wrongful death claim – and they can help you rest assured that someone is fighting for you and your family. Let one of our experienced attorneys worry about deadlines and statutes while you concentrate on helping your family rest and recover from this difficult time.
A Wrongful Death Lawyer Will Fight for Justice for Your Loved One
No matter the situation, going through the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things that people have to endure. To know that your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing makes it hurt that much worse. Though it may not be much of a consolation, if your loved one’s death was brought about as a result of the wrongful action of another, you have the right to take legal action to pursue compensation.
We know that no amount of money will stop your grief or replace your loved one. However, it can give you a strong financial foundation for the future, or allow you time and space to grieve fully. If you find yourself having just lost a loved one, pursuing compensation can allow you to have peace of mind as you work to figure out your future.
If you are considering bringing forth a wrongful death suit in California, it is important to understand that only certain people have that right. The people who are legally able to file a wrongful death suit include:
- Surviving spouses
- Domestic partners
- Grandchildren (only in the event that the deceased person’s children are also deceased)
- Stepchildren (dependent on the deceased for at least 50% of their financial support)
- Any other individual who would be entitled to the deceased’s estate under California’s intestate succession laws
Though you and your family are undoubtedly going through a difficult time after the loss of a loved one, if you suspect their death may have been due to the wrongful actions of another, it is imperative that you move forward with this case as soon as you are able. In California, in most cases you have two years from the victim’s date of death to begin legal proceedings. Contact an experienced California wrongful death attorney to get a plan in place so that you have the best chance at receiving the financial compensation you and your family deserve.
What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
While filing a wrongful death suit, you will be asked to quantify the damages that occurred as a result of that death. Some are easy to calculate, while others are less straightforward.
Insurance companies may try to write you a check to cover the cost of the easily quantifiable, or economic, damages, while failing to take any emotional damages into consideration. An experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to help you determine the full scope of your losses and fight to give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Economic damages may include:
- Hospitalization costs
- Additional medical costs
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income and future earnings
- Loss of value of investments
- Gifts or payments expected to be received from the deceased
- Reasonable value of household services provided by the deceased
Other damages are considered non-economic damages, and may be harder to quantify because they largely deal with the emotional and mental toll that occurs when losing a loved one. Some of these damages may include:
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Loss of guidance and training from a loved one
- Pain and suffering
Of course, it is impossible to truly put a dollar amount on your loved one’s life. However, working with an experienced wrongful death attorney gives you the best chance at recovering the compensation you and your family deserve.
How a Wrongful Death Case Is Proven in California
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, whether intentional or not, you may be entitled to pursue legal action on their behalf. A surviving family member or member of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death suit against the person who caused the death of your loved one.
However, it can be difficult to win a wrongful death case. In California, there are strict guidelines that must be met in order to win a case. If you do not adequately prove the elements required, you and your family would not be able to recover any financial compensation.
Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced California wrongful death lawyer. Doing so will give you the best chance at recovering the compensation you and your family deserve.
A Preponderance of Evidence
In criminal cases, the prosecution must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which can be very difficult. In civil cases, such as a wrongful death suit, meeting the burden of proof can be easier.
To prove your wrongful death case, you must show a preponderance of the evidence. Simply put, the plaintiff must prove that their claims have over a 50% chance of being true. If the plaintiff has shown that their claim is more likely true than not, they have met their burden of proof.
The Four Elements in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In California, there are four elements that the plaintiff must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If the plaintiff is only able to prove three out of the four elements, then they have not proven their case and will not be able to collect compensation. Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney gives you and your family the best chance to prove all four elements and receive the compensation you deserve.
Not all deaths that occur are wrongful deaths. In order to have a valid wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove four legal elements with evidence. These elements are negligence, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that negligent actions by the defendant caused the death of their loved one. Negligence occurs when someone, in this case, the defendant, fails to act with the standard of care or in a reasonable manner, which then results in the injury or death of another.
The plaintiff will have to prove that the defendant’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness was either partially or wholly at fault for their loved one’s death in order for compensation to be awarded.
Breach of Duty
In order to prove wrongful death, the defendant must have owed a duty of care to the deceased. For instance, a doctor has the duty to make medical decisions that will not harm or injure their patients intentionally. Drivers also have a duty to drive safely and follow traffic laws.
A breach of duty occurs when the defendant acts, or fails to act, in a way that another reasonable party in their position would not. This includes acts of recklessness or carelessness, as well as any act with malicious intent. In wrongful death cases, this breach of duty results in the death of another person.
The plaintiff will have to prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused the death of their loved one. It is not necessary for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant had the intent to harm or injure another, only that their actions led directly to their loved one’s death.
The fourth element that a plaintiff must prove in a wrongful death case is that the death of their loved one resulted in quantifiable damages. These damages can occur from things that are easy to quantify, such as medical bills or loss of income. Other damages that can be considered are non-economic in nature and deal more with the toll losing a loved one takes on the plaintiff.
Contact an Experienced California Wrongful Death Attorney
If your family has been affected by the wrongful death of a loved one, you may feel as though you will never be able to recover fully. If you are going through this, contact an experienced attorney from Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law. We can’t change the past, but we can fight for you to give you and your family a better present and future.
When you feel ready, reach out to one of our experienced attorneys, either by Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We will listen to your case and work to devise the legal strategy that gives you the best chance at recovering the compensation you need to move on. We look forward to hearing from you and are eager to begin fighting for you and your family.