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Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento Representing Families Who Have Lost A Loved One

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is among the most difficult situations that a family will ever have to face. When the loved one is taken in an accident that occurred because of another person’s negligence, however, it only makes the loss that much more painful to bear. Surviving family members are entitled to be compensated for the losses they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death.

These are complex and often emotional cases that require the attention of a reliable attorney who knows the law and has the ability to provide the compassionate, supportive representation you need. Personal injury attorney in Sacramento are committed to helping our clients obtain the compensation they are entitled to receive under California law.
Helping You Through A Difficult Time

We know that no amount of money can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one. In many cases, however, family members fail to realize the material losses they have suffered and everything that their loved one contributed to the household while he or she was alive. Our goal is to provide you with some measure of financial support as you work through this difficult time in your life.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, it may be appropriate to pursue the following damages after a fatal accident:

  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future inheritance
  • Loss of household services
  • Care, comfort and society

We work closely with you to understand all of the losses the death of your loved one has brought on your family and seek full compensation on your behalf.

Speak With Our Attorneys About Your Wrongful Death Claim

Contact a personal injury attorney in Sacramento discuss your injury claim. We offer a free initial consultation where you can get honest answers to your questions and learn more about your legal options. You can reach us by phone at (916) 357-6767 or send us an email to schedule an appointment.

Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento
CALIFORNIA WRONGFUL DEATH LAWS

Wrongful death is defined as the death of an individual arising from the wrongful act or negligence of another.

In the state of California, a wrongful death affords the victim’s surviving family the opportunity to bring a civil suit to seek damages from the responsible party. The defendant in a wrongful death case, the alleged responsible party, can be a person, business or other type of organization. There are many types of organizations that can be sued for wrongful death, and even more ways that a person can leave this world before their time, resulting in a multitude of laws that could affect your specific case.

Below you will find information on wrongful death laws that apply in most cases. We would like this to serve as a starting point for individuals interested in securing information on the process. Keep in mind that it is very important to act quickly, please consult a personal injury attorney immediately following a suspicious injury or death.

Plaintiffs

Understanding who can bring suit in a personal injury situation is fairly obvious; the individual who was hurt requires compensation for medical bills and other damages, and thus will be the individual who is afforded the right to bring suit. When dealing with a wrongful death suit however, the situation is not as clear. The individual who sustained the injury (and subsequently died as a result) will, for obvious reasons, no longer be capable of bringing suit. That individual is known as the decedent, and the responsibility for bringing suit generally falls with the decedent’s surviving family. In certain situations, suit can be brought by a non-family member.

Below is a list of parties that are eligible to bring a wrongful death suit in California:

  • Surviving Spouse or Domestic Partner
  • Children
  • Putative Spouse – defined as a person who cohabitated with another to whom they entered into marriage in good faith, but for some legal flaw (such as the existence of a prior marriage) the marriage was actually invalid
  • A minor that is not the decedent’s child if that minor had legally resided in the decedents home for 180 days and was dependent on the decedent for at least half of their support
  • The decedent’s personal representative on behalf of those authorized to bring the suit

If you have specific questions about wrongful death laws in California, contact our personal injury attorney for free consultation about wrongful death and other injuries.

Statute of Limitations

There are three main statutes of limitations to consider regarding wrongful death claims in California, and they differ mainly by the type of defendant in the case.

  • Calif. Code of Civil Procedure, Section 335.1 – Suing parties have 2 years from the date of the act/injury that caused death to bring suit.
  • Calif. Code of Civil Procedure, Section 340.5 – If the wrongful death was associated with healthcare provider negligence (also known as medical malpractice), suing parties will have three years from the date of injury, or one year from the date the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first.
  • If the wrongful death was caused by a public entity, it will be also be governed by the statute of limitations set forth in the California Tort Claims Act. The act requires that any party file a claim with the proper authority within 6 months of the injury/act that caused the wrongful death.

The statute of limitations listed above are also affected by what is called the “Discovery Rule”. The discovery rule is applied in situations in which the cause of death was not immediately attributed to a single event, and will reset the beginning of the statute of limitations period to coincide with the day the causal relationship was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered. As an example, imagine an individual who goes to the hospital for a surgery, and a mistake is made that leads to the individual’s death 6 months later. Surviving family members may not immediately realize that the death was caused by the surgery. In this scenario, the statute of limitations would begin when the plaintiffs discovered the surgical mistake to have been the cause of death.

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney About Your Wrongful Death Questions

Contact our Sacramento personal injury attorney to discuss your wrongful death concerns. We offer a free initial consultation where you can get honest answers to your questions and learn more about your rights in these matters. Please call (916) 357-6767 or send us an email to schedule an appointment.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

WRONGFUL DEATH VS. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Losing a loved one is the greatest pain a human being can feel. Personal injury lawyer at The Weinberger Law Firm is here to help protect the futures of those who have suffered.

Losing a loved one is the greatest pain a human being can feel. That pain can be exacerbated if your loss is the result of an accident or tragic error, and while no amount of compensation can make up for that loss, it is comforting to know that the law provides you with the right to seek compensation for a premature death or serious injury. Surviving family members are often left trying to make up for lost income and dealing with expensive medical bills and/or funeral costs.

Before you proceed with hiring a personal injury lawyer to help with litigation, it will help you to understand the difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death lawsuit seeks to award compensation to the surviving family, heirs or dependents of a person who died resulting from the negligence or wrongful act of another.

  • An individual is killed in a vehicular accident by a drunk/reckless driver
  • A person dies after an assault in a bar
  • A person is killed when a product they were using failed
  • A person dies after eating food that was spoiled / tainted

The above all represent examples of situations in which bringing a wrongful death suit is feasible. The attorneys at this firm have experience handling all types of wrongful death cases, and if you think the death of your loved one resulted from the negligence or wrongful act of another, please give us a call today for a free consultation.

Medical Malpractice

A Medical Malpractice incident must involve the performance of medical care services. The key difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death is that medical malpractice need not result in the death of the individual. Medical care services can be performed by a variety of individuals that include doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, health care facilities and pharmaceutical companies.

  • Improper medication or dosage
  • Nursing home patient neglected and / or mistreated
  • Premature hospital discharge
  • Surgical errors
  • Unnecessary surgery or surgery performed at wrong-site
  • Ignoring or misreading laboratory results

If you or a loved one have experienced a tragic incident and believe someone else to be responsible, please give us a call today for a free consultation. Don’t worry if you are confused about the difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death, or even if you’re not sure your situation represents either, thats what we are here for!

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento About Wrongful Death Questions

Contact our Sacramento personal injury lawyer to discuss your wrongful death concerns. We offer a free initial consultation where you can get honest answers to your questions and learn more about your rights in these matters. Please call (916) 357-6767 or send us an email to schedule an appointment.

Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento

CHILD WRONGFUL DEATH

Just about the worse thing a person can endure is the loss of their own child. When that loss is the result of another’s negligence or wrongdoing, the pain can become unbearable. Although monetary compensation will not bring your loved one back or wipe away the pain, it can help you through expensive medical bills and funeral costs. The purpose of a wrongful death suit is to ensure that surviving family members and dependents receive the compensation they deserve under the law.

When the decedent is a working adult, a plaintiff in a wrongful death suit could expect to receive compensation for medical bills related to the injury that caused death, funeral and burial costs, future lost income, and damages related to loss of guidance and or care. But what happens if the decedent in the case was a child?

Measuring Damages for Wrongful Death of a Child

Many personal injury lawyers will argue that the most difficult aspect of a wrongful death case is estimating damages, but almost all attorneys will argue that the most difficult aspect of a child wrongful death case is estimating damages. This starts with the difficulty in assessing the future value of a child’s labor and positive emotional impact, given the child was too young to realize their potential in these areas. The younger the child, the more difficult the estimation becomes and the more difficult it becomes to convince a jury to agree with it. Further complicating the matter is the fact that damages in a wrongful death case are assessed according to pecuniary value, and if a child has not yet worked, how can an appropriate monetary value of their future work be assessed if their current value of labor is $0?

How much future income did an 18-year-old who was killed by a drunk driver forfeit because of their premature death?

The answer to this question will rely on a multitude of factors including their health, performance in school and whether they were employed, among many others.

Now, I will ask you the same question of a 5-year-old who has not yet had the opportunity to attend high school, work, or prove the monetary value of their continued existence. The only answer to that question is that there are many ways to do so and it will have important implications for your case.

It is important to secure experienced legal representation possible for any wrongful death case, but with cases involving the wrongful death of a child, general wrongful death litigation experience will not be enough. Child wrongful death cases contain their own unique challenges and it is imperative that you secure representation with the knowledge and hands-on experience bringing these cases to trial if you desire the most favorable outcome possible.

The personal injury lawyers at this law firm are experienced bringing these cases to trial and will do our part to help right the wrong you experienced. Please give us a call today for a free consultation.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyers About Wrongful Death Questions

Contact a personal injury attorney in Sacramento to discuss your wrongful death concerns. We offer a free initial consultation where you can get honest answers to your questions and learn more about your rights in these matters. Please call (916) 357-6767 or send us an email to schedule an appointment.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento

WRONGFUL DEATH FAQ

In its simplest form, wrongful death is defined as the death of an individual arising from the negligence or wrongful act of another. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case that can be filed against a person or a business alleged to be responsible for causing a wrongful death.

Examples:

  • Assault resulting in death
  • Negligent or careless conduct resulting in death
  • Design or manufacture of a defective product resulting in death
  • Medical malpractice resulting in death

Who can bring a wrongful death case?

Every state’s laws differ slightly as to who is able to bring a wrongful death case, but in general, the right is afforded to family members or individuals who depended on the deceased for at least half of their financial support.

In California, the following individuals can make a wrongful death claim:

  • Surviving Spouse
  • Surviving Domestic Partner
  • Children of the deceased
  • Putative Spouse
  • A Minor – if that minor had legally resided in the decedents home for 180 days and was dependent on the decedent for at least half of their support
  • The decedents personal representative on behalf of those authorized to bring the suit

How long does an individual have to bring a wrongful death suit?

The time a plaintiff has to bring a wrongful death suit is determined by two key factors: the Discovery Rule and the Statute of Limitations.

The Statute of Limitations puts a limit on the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a wrongful death suit. Every state differs, but it is generally two to three years, so it is very important that appropriate action is taken in a timely manner.

The Discovery Rule is a law that affects the Statute of Limitations with regard to wrongful death suits. Consider a situation in which an unknown injury caused the death of an individual. Years later, the injury was discovered to be the cause of the individual’s death, but the amount of time set forth by the Statute of Limitations had already run out. The Discovery Rule exists to protect plaintiffs in this type of scenario, and ensures they have adequate time to file a case. The Statute of Limitations would generally begin the day the injury / accident occurred, but if the court determines that the Discovery Rule need be applied, the Statute of Limitations will begin at the time the injury was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered.

Speak With Our Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento About Your Wrongful Death Claim

Contact our Sacramento personal injury attorneys to discuss your injury concerns. We offer a free initial consultation where you can get honest answers to your questions and learn more about your rights in these matters. Please call (916) 357-6767 or send us an email to schedule an appointment.

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