Wrongful Death Attorneys Fountain Valley
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is said to have occurred when a person has died as the result of a negligent, careless, intentional or reckless act of another person or entity. If you have lost a loved one as the result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing.
It is important that you understand your legal rights and options as the laws surrounding wrongful death cases in California are complex.
Wrongful Death Scenarios
Not all incidents involving fatalities result in a wrongful death claim. Examples of negligence or wrongdoing that can result in a wrongful death case include:
- Driving under the influence: Drunk driving is a serious issue in Orange County. Drunk drivers are responsible for a number of wrongful deaths each year. In fact, the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) reported that 62 fatalities resulted from alcohol-related traffic collisions in Orange County in the year 2009.
- Other forms of careless driving: Speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving, and failure to yield the right of way are examples of negligent driving that can culminate in a wrongful death claim.
- Medical malpractice: Doctors can be held accountable for the wrongful death of a patient if they stepped outside the accepted norms of their profession or failed to provide adequate care.
- Property owner negligence: When a fatal slip-and-fall accident results from the negligence of a property owner, the property owner can be held liable for the resulting wrongful death.
- Nursing home abuse or neglect: Vulnerable patients can suffer fatal injuries if they are mistreated, abused or neglected by the individuals hired to care for them.
A Wrongful Death Claim
There are a number of potential claimants for a wrongful death. The spouse or child of the victim are in the first group of potentially eligible claimants. Other potential parties include the parents, siblings, other occupants of the victim’s household and other individuals who were financially dependent on the victim before the accident.
All of the losses suffered as the result of the incident that caused the decedent's sudden death can be taken into consideration during the claim process. This includes all financial and non-economic losses. Financial losses include:
- Medical bills, hospitalization costs and other expenses incurred
- Funeral expenses
- Lost future wages from the day of the accident to when the victim would have reasonably retired
- Loss of inheritance and benefits
Non-financial losses that may be included in a wrongful death claim include:
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim before his or her passing
- Loss of companionship felt by the surviving victims
Liability in Wrongful Death Cases
The at-fault party can be held accountable for the victim's wrongful death. Potential parties may include an individual, business or even the government depending on the cause of the incident. A skilled attorney will be needed to review the circumstances of the incident and determine fault and liability.
There is a statute of limitations on all wrongful death claims in California. This means that there is a limited amount of time within which someone can file a claim. The state of California allows a family two years to file a wrongful death claim.
There are exceptions to this rule. For example, in cases involving minors, the youth may file up until the age of 19. There are also circumstances in which the statute of limitations is less than two years, so individuals should not hesitate to discuss their case with an experienced attorney.
The experienced Fountain Valley wrongful death lawyers at Bisnar Chase offer free consultations to anyone who has lost a loved one as a result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. We can help you determine what claim may be worth and what steps you can take to protect your family during the claim process.
Please contact us today for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation. Call 949-203-3814.
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