Losing a loved one is always difficult, but it is even more devastating when their death is due to the negligence of another. Our wrongful death lawyers in Visalia, CA are eager to answer your questions about personal injury law and explain what compensation you’re entitled to at your free consultation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death cases are often filed by the surviving family of the deceased with the assistance of a wrongful death attorney. Per California state law, the family members who are eligible to receive compensation from a Visalia wrongful death suit include:
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner
- The decedent’s surviving children, adopted children, or stepchildren
- The decedent’s surviving grandchildren
During your initial consultation, our Visalia wrongful death lawyers at Grossman Law Offices will discuss the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive from insurance companies. The types damages you can receive include:
- Compensation for funeral and burial services
- Legal expenses paid to an attorney for representing you in front of insurance companies
- The financial support the decedent would have provided to the family had they lived
What is Considered a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death case occurs when a person is killed because of another person or entity‘s negligence, recklessness, or misconduct. In some cases, wrongful death is caused by intentional criminal acts. Although no attorney can relieve the shock and grief of suddenly losing a loved one, they can provide the victim’s families and beneficiaries with legal guidance and help them to recover damages.
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim filed by the decedent’s family or survivors against the person or entity who is responsible for the death, such as a surgeon, employer, or drunk driver, depending on the cause of death. In cases of criminal intent, there may also be prosecution that is related to the fatality, but a wrongful death case is a civil action, not a criminal one. The compensation that the family receives is intended to provide financial stability so that they do not have to suffer economic hardships in addition to the emotional hardship of losing their loved one. In order to establish a wrongful death case, the following must be proven by your Visalia wrongful death lawyer:
- The defendant, such as a doctor or a driver, owed the deceased person a duty of care.
- The defendant violated their duty of care.
- The violation of the duty of care led to an accident.
- The accident resulted in injuries to the victim.
- The victim died as a result of their injuries.
The Duty of Care
A duty of care is the legal philosophy that a person or professional caring for another must behave in a reasonable way that another would under similar circumstances. For example, drivers owe each other duty of care on the road by paying attention to avoid accidents. Businesses owe a duty of care to their employees and customers to remove dangers on their property. Dog owners must keep their pets on a leash to prevent them from attacking people.
When a duty of care is violated, that means that the person didn’t exhibit the appropriate level of care needed to avoid a dangerous situation. Such violations of the duty of care are usually irresponsible and reckless. For example, if a driver is texting while behind the wheel or a pharmacist does not check the medication they are dispensing, those violations can result in catastrophic accidents.
Causes of Wrongful Death
The Visalia wrongful death attorneys at Grossman Law Offices will review your case and help you to determine who is the liable party, depending on the cause of death.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car and motorcycle accidents are some of the most common types of wrongful death lawsuits. Drunk driving, speeding, and texting while driving are all hazardous, negligent acts that can lead to wrongful death.
Suppose your loved one suffered from a preventable workplace injury that subsequently led to their passing. In that case, Grossman Law Offices will represent you on behalf of your loved one in front of the deceased’s employer or their insurance company. Other third parties may also be responsible, such as product manufacturers who made the equipment that killed your loved one. If that is the case, we will help you take on the manufacturer to get the compensation you deserve.
When a person dies because a property owner or manager knowingly neglected their duty of care and their responsibility to the safety of their visitors, then the surviving family members may file a wrongful death suit. Fires, dog attacks, injuries to children at daycare centers, swimming pool drownings at hotels, malfunctioning elevators, and even trampling during Black Friday sales are examples of premises liability wrongful death cases.
Manufacturers can be held liable for product defects that cause death if they are unreasonably dangerous, which means that they fail to perform safely when the average consumer uses them as expected. For example, when a consumer purchases an over-the-counter pain reliever and takes the amount printed on the bottle but then becomes ill, the manufacturer and sometimes even the seller of the product can be held liable for the consumer’s death.
Get The Legal Guidance You Deserve
Grossman Law Offices has been a personal injury law firm in Visalia, CA for many years, and we are here to help you during this distressing period. According to state law, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim, but don’t delay in calling us to set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers. Our Visalia wrongful death attorneys are eager to help you and will provide the compassion and patience you deserve.