Wrongful Death Attorneys in Lakeport & Woodland Hills, California
The death of a loved one can destroy a family. It can become even worse when this loss is due to a wrongful death incident. Picking up the pieces can take an emotional and psychological toll on all family members.
As personal injury attorneys at G. Aldrich Law, we proudly serve the communities of Lakeport, Woodland Hills, and the rest of California with skilled and compassionate legal guidance. We strive to deliver our best service to individuals and families in the aftermath of a wrongful death. If you live anywhere in Lake County, Los Angeles County, Colusa County, Riverside County, and throughout Northern and Southern California counties, set up a consultation with our team.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Some folks mistakenly say that filing a wrongful death claim is only about profiting from a loved one’s death—or that there’s no point in filing a claim because there’s nothing you can do about a tragedy in the past. These ideas could not be further from the truth. Let’s consider two key reasons for filing a wrongful death claim:
First, a loved one’s death can have a significant financial impact on a family. Medical bills, hospital expenses, funeral costs, and burial arrangements can quickly add up. When a family is not in a position to deal with these expenses, a family may need to resort to debt. Medical debt is one of America’s leading causes of bankruptcy. Approximately 62% of American families file for bankruptcy due to overwhelming medical debt. Any family that’s been through this situation can attest to this fact. As a result, filing a wrongful death lawsuit provides a way for families to get back on the right financial track. Fair compensation for a wrongful death allows families to pay off debts and recover economic losses such as lost wages and more.
Second, filing a wrongful death claim is about holding liable parties accountable for their actions. Holding people accountable can save lives. Filing a wrongful death claim may be able to spare other families from similar tragedy and heartache.
Overall, filing a wrongful death claim is a right that California families have. While it is impossible to bring loved ones back, seeking a fair outcome is possible.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
The concept of “wrongful death” is based on negligence from the liable party or parties. In other words, a wrongful death occurs when the responsible parties fail to act according to standard safety practices and ethics or commit an illegal action leading to a person’s death.
Please bear in mind that wrongful death victims have two years to file a wrongful death claim from the incident date. Past the two-year period, it can be virtually impossible to get a successful outcome. Filing a claim after the two-year period will prompt the liable party to file a motion to dismiss the claim.
However, there is an exception. It is known as the “discovery rule.” This rule states that the two-year window starts when it is “discovered” that the death resulted from negligence that caused a loved one’s death.
When the discovery rule applies, the two-year window starts at the discovery of the wrongful death situation and not the person’s passing. Consulting with a professional personal injury or wrongful death attorney can help families determine if the discovery rule applies to their specific situation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
Any family member, such as a surviving spouse, adult children, parents, or siblings, can file a wrongful death claim in California. Additionally, families can retain legal counsel to file on their behalf. Enlisting the services of an experienced wrongful death attorney can greatly enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome.
What Needs To Be Proven to Constitute a Wrongful Death?
The basis of a wrongful death claim is the negligence that caused a loved one’s death. Without the negligent action—or inaction—the person’s death would have been prevented. As a result, proving negligence is the most important factor in pursuing a successful wrongful death claim.
Common causes of wrongful deaths are:
Accidents leading to death (i.e., a car or workplace incident)
Lack of safety procedures
Documenting the accident provides key evidence to support the claim. Documentation such as police reports, emergency room information, medical records, footage, eyewitness testimony, and expert opinions can support a successful wrongful death claim.
What Damages Are Available for a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are two main types of damages available for a wrongful death claim:
Economic damages refer to compensation quantifiable in monetary terms. For instance, lost wages, medical expenses, and funeral costs are measurable in dollar terms.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for subjective losses such as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages can be tough to quantify. A wrongful death attorney can help determine a fair amount.
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California
No one deserves to go through this difficult time alone. Reach out to us today if your loved one was a victim in a wrongful death. At G. Aldrich Law, we go the extra mile to protect our clients’ right to fair compensation and a path forward.