Sacramento Wrongful Death Trial Lawyers
It’s the worst scenario imaginable. A serious injury, either instantly, or over a period of time, leads to the death of an innocent person.
Wrongful death occurs as the result of someone else’s negligence, and leaves family members behind to grieve. Many families will often struggle financially due to the loss. It doesn’t matter if the negligence resulted from a private individual’s reckless behavior, or a multi-national company’s defective product — nothing will bring back the loss of a beloved family member, or friend. There may however be, an opportunity to seek justice and ensure your financial stability as your family moves forward.
This page was designed to discuss some of the laws pertaining to Sacramento wrongful death as well as why a person might hire a trial lawyer such as Lawrance Bohm in the event of wrongful death. If you are unsure of whether you can file a claim in response to the death of a loved one, or are thinking about contacting an attorney, this page was designed for you.
What Types of Cases Do Wrongful Death Attorneys Handle?
Wrongful death cases result from a wide variety of different scenarios. Basically, if your loved one died as the result of another person or business’s mistake, or negligence, then you could be entitled to recover compensation as result. Some of the types of cases our office handles include:
- DUI Accidents
- Hit and Run
- Gun Deaths (homicide, accidental, police involved)
- Defective Products
- Pharmaceutical Deaths
- Hospital Error
- Building Collapse
- Malfunctioning Traffic Equipment/Poorly Maintained Crosswalks and Roads
- Medical Malpractice
- Other Cases
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The answer to this question is found in California’s Code of Civil Procedure §377.60 et. Seq. This section of law specifically outlines the persons who can bring a claim on behalf of a decedent. They include the decedent’s:
- Surviving Spouse
- Domestic Partner
- The Children of Deceased Children
Other relations may also qualify under law. For instance, the law states that a minor child, even if not related by blood to the decedent, may be able to file a claim if he or she resided in the decedent’s household for the previous 180 days, and was financially dependent on the decedent for more than half of his or her support.
If you have questions about whether you can file a claim on behalf of a dead loved one, a personal injury attorney can help.
What to Do After a Loved One Dies as a Result of Another Person’s Negligence
While the loss of a loved one is an emotionally overwhelming experience, it’s important that you try to preserve anything that could be useful in your lawsuit. This could mean preserving any digital files, or medical records relevant to the injury. If possible, photograph the scene of the accident, damaged property, or defective product.
Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Remember, the clock starts ticking at the moment of injury.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help in a Wrongful Death Case?
While personal injury cases are complicated enough, death resulting from injury adds a new layer of challenges. The attorney who represents you, might for instance, suggest establishing a probate estate before proceeding.
A good personal injury attorney will be skilled at articulating to a jury the loss and the suffering. He or she will do this while considering all the tangible aspects of your case. You might want to go it alone. However, it is recommended you have an attorney to guide you during this difficult time.
Wrongful Death Cases in the News
-The Japanese optics company Olympus became the focus of media attention after its duodenal scopes, used by hospitals to diagnose intestinal illnesses, were linked to a deadly bacterial outbreak in patients who used the device. The wife of a man who developed an infection and died after using the device, at Virginia Mason Medical Center filed a lawsuit against the company. The wife argued that the company’s scope was unsafe and had a tendency to collect bacteria. A jury ultimately found that the device was not unsafe if directions for its use were properly followed. The jury also ordered Olympus to pay $6.6 million to the hospital, and ordered the hospital to pay $1 million of that amount to the deceased man’s family.
-In 2017, the Los Angeles City Council agreed to pay $9.5 million to the parents of a teenage girl killed by a taxi at a local state beach. According to the Los Angeles Times, the girl had been with friends at the fire pits located at Dockweiler State Beach located in the neighborhood of Playa Del Rey.
After leaving the beach to cross a nearby road, the girl was struck by the passing vehicle. She died from her injuries several weeks later. In filing their wrongful death suit against the city, the parents argued that the accident was a “foreseeable tragedy”, and that the city of Los Angeles should have ensured safe crossing paths for people to reach their cars parked across the street from the beach.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims?
As with other personal injury cases, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the injury. This statue is found in California Code of Civil Procedures §377.30.
While you may be lacking focus due to overwhelming grief, it’s important that you put a lawyer to work on this type of case as soon as possible.
A Word About “Survival Action”
The term survival action stems from California Civil Code of Procedures §377.70, which states:
“A cause of action that survives the death of the person entitled to commence an action or proceeding in interest…”
The section further states:
“An action may be commenced by the decedent’s personal representative, or, if none, by the successor in interest.”
An easier way of explaining this law is to say that if your deceased loved one was able to file a personal injury suit before dying of his or her injury, you may be entitled to continue the suit. You may be able to sue for lost wages, medical expenses, and even punitive damages.
Contact an Attorney
After the death of a loved one, there will grief. But seeking justice can be a part of the healing process. It’s not a process a person should undertake alone. Personal injury and wrongful death law suits are complicated and should be handled with guidance from a professional legal mind.
If you have questions about wrongful death, or another area of personal injury law, contact our office to learn about what we can do to help you.