When our loved ones leave home in the morning, we often take it for granted that they will return safely. However, sometimes they suffer injuries because of someone else’s actions, and they meet an untimely death. When this happens, families often turn to Sacramento wrongful death lawyers to help them seek justice. Even though nothing can bring the person back, the person responsible for their injuries should have to account for their actions.
Under California’s laws, wrongful death is one that is caused by misconduct or negligence on the part of an individual or company. Even though all deaths are difficult to handle, it can be harder to come to terms with a death that was avoidable. The financial and emotional burden can also be overwhelming for survivors. However, seeking compensation through the insurance or court system can help the family to cope.
At TorkLaw, we believe that Sacramento residents need to know their legal rights so they can recover the damages that they are due. When survivors hire us, we do everything we can to get the maximum compensation. You never have to worry about paying us upfront since we offer a free initial consultation. If you decide to hire us, you only have to pay if we recover damages for you. Here are some of the things you need to know about wrongful death claims.
Situations that Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
A number of situations can lead to allegations of wrongful death. These include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
It can be challenging to build a successful wrongful death case in some cases, but it can be done. You’ll need to have a skilled, dedicated attorney who will show compassion as they guide you through the process. The Sacramento wrongful death lawyers at TorkLaw have lots of experience with assisting grieving relatives.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Sacramento
When an individual gets killed, lots of people will be saddened. However, not everyone is legally entitled to file a wrongful death claim. The only people who can take such action in Sacramento are the victims:
- Domestic partner
If the victim didn’t have any of these survivors, anyone else who would be entitled to their estate would have the right to file. This could be parents or siblings. Reputed spouses and stepchildren may also be able to file a claim if they can prove they were financial dependents of the deceased.
Damages You Can Claim in A Wrongful Death Case with Help from Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyers
In addition to the shock and pain that’s occasioned by the loss of a loved one, survivors also experience financial loss. This is especially so if the victim had direct dependents like children or elderly parents. Each case has peculiarities, but generally, family members can seek compensation for:
- Medical, funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of retirement or pension funds
- Loss of inheritance
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages (in cases of gross negligence or intentional action)
In each of these cases, you will need to present proof that you suffered these financial and emotional losses. If you hire an attorney, they will work closely with you to gather the necessary evidence and present it to the insurance company or courts. The sooner you get legal advice, the sooner you can get the case started and get the compensation you deserve.
The Statutes of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
You don’t have an indefinite period within which to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, you’ll have two years from the date of the fatal accident. However, if the case involves medical malpractice, you’ll have:
- Three years from the date of your loved one was injured or;
- One year after the injury was discovered, whichever occurs first
If the case is against a government agency or office, you will have to file an administrative claim within six months. There may be other nuances to take into consideration, depending on the specifics of your case. That’s why you need to have support from Sacramento wrongful death lawyers. If you don’t file the lawsuit before the time runs out, you’ll lose the right to do so. If you really want to get the compensation you deserve, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. They will advise you of all the timelines you must adhere to.
Settling a Wrongful Death Claim
Most cases of wrongful death are settled out of court. It’s usually in the best interests of all the parties involved to opt for negotiation or mediation. However, sometimes liability or the cause of death is disputed by either the defendant or their insurance company. In these cases, it is necessary to let a jury decide on the outcome. In either case, your attorney will collect as much information as possible to demonstrate how much the survivors have lost.
Often, families want to know how long it will take for the case to be concluded. The simple answer is “it depends.” If liability is clear, it will be easier to settle the claim. However, if there’s a dispute over whether an entity was negligent, the case will likely take longer. Also, determining all the economic losses, the family suffered can take lots of time in some cases. Your lawyer may need to hire experts to calculate how much the victim would have earned in their lifetime. In addition, a lot rides on how much insurance the at-fault party had. If the amount is small, the insurer is more likely to pay than if it’s a large sum.
This probably seems like a lot to handle. However, experienced Sacramento wrongful death lawyers know how to go about their job. Their focus will be on doing everything possible to help you get full compensation, even if it takes a little time.
Reach Out to TorkLaw Today for Help with Your Case
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s actions, you’d be going through a very difficult time. Let our attorneys help you with legal matters while you focus on your family. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can give you our expert legal opinion.