Accident in California Result in Wrongful Death?
San Francisco Wrongful Death Attorneys Explain Your Legal Options
Nothing is more devastating than the unexpected loss of a loved one. The instantaneous loss of companionship, income and security are more than anyone should have to endure. While no amount of compensation will bring back your loved one, a wrongful death claim is a way to hold the responsible party accountable in civil court. Often times, the deceased is the primary wage earner in the family, making his or her death even more difficult on the rest of your family. You and your family deserve justice, financial security and closure, and our attorneys will do everything they can to assist you during this difficult time.
At The Brandi Law Firm, we have decades of experience representing loved ones in wrongful death claims. We typically handle claims involving auto accidents, motorcycle accidents and airplane accidents, along with defective products, drugs and medical devices. Our most successful wrongful death claims have resulted in millions of dollars for our clients, making us one of the premier personal injury firms in California. If you are struggling with the death of a loved one and want to review your legal options, then consulting our San Francisco wrongful death attorneys may be the first step towards protecting your future.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
After an unexpected death due to an accident, insurance companies understand that a successful claim will cost them. They will therefore try to control the accident scene and will send their best lawyers to try to limit financial damages. Often times, they will contact the family and make a settlement offer that is inadequate. They recognize how vulnerable families are and look to maximize their advantage. An experienced wrongful death lawyer knows all of the tricks that may be employed by an insurance company and will work hard to maximize your financial compensation.
There are four main categories of damages that our San Francisco wrongful death attorneys will seek to enhance. They include:
- Lost income and future lost wages. The income you have lost and the income you expect to lose are two key components of awarded damages. Loss of future income is more difficult to assess, and your attorney will need to provide financial documentation, along with expert witnesses to back up your claims.
- Funeral expenses. The California wrongful death statute allows you and your family to recover funeral and burial expenses. The average funeral costs thousands of dollars, so receiving compensation for those expenses can be a big relief and help you remain on solid financial footing.
- Loss of consortium. After a wrongful death, you may experience loss of companionship, moral support and intimacy. California law allows you to recover non-economic compensatory damages for these losses.
- Other damages. If you have minor children, then they are entitled to receive damages for lost financial support and the loss of guidance the deceased would have provided. These are examples of economic and noneconomic damages that deserve consideration when filing a claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
While extended family and friends may grieve over the deceased, most of them are unable to file a wrongful death claim. Only the surviving spouse, domestic partner and surviving children are eligible to make a wrongful death claim. If there is no surviving person in the immediate family, then anyone entitled to the property of the deceased by intestate succession can file a wrongful death claim. This could include the parents or siblings of the deceased, depending upon who is alive at the time of death.
Along with the nuclear family, there are specific cases where a putative spouse, stepchild and parent can file a wrongful death claim. By providing evidence of financial dependency, it is possible for them to collect damages based on the loss of economic support by the deceased. You can find the laws about filing a wrongful death claim in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 337.60, et seq. Our wrongful death lawyers can explain the intricacies of these laws in a free initial consultation.
Our San Francisco Wrongful Death Attorneys Will Answer Your Questions
After a fatal accident, you will want a wrongful death lawyer with a broad range of experience representing you and your family in court. Our attorneys understand the complicated emotions surrounding unexpected deaths and will work hard to get an appropriate amount of wrongful death damages. Hiring a San Francisco wrongful death attorney will never take away the pain of losing a loved one, but we may be able to help provide you with financial security during this difficult time.
If you have lost a loved one and want the responsible party held accountable, then contact The Brandi Law Firm today at (415) 989-1800 and schedule a meeting. We will respect the delicate nature of your case and answer any of your legal questions.