Loved One Taken From You in an Accident?
San Luis Obispo Wrongful Death Attorneys Explain Legal Options
Our San Luis Obispo wrongful death attorneys have dealt with just about every type of personal injury accident along the Central Coast, including representing people with the most serious injuries. In the most catastrophic of cases, an incidence of negligence or misconduct takes the life of another. While we cannot restore a life taken by the negligence of another, we can help grieving families through difficult times. A wrongful death lawsuit can help ensure that the expenses associated with the death are covered and that the loss does not bring about undue financial strain or hardship on the family. We can assist you in pursuing a wrongful death action against the persons or entities responsible for your loss. If you are seeking compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death, the speak to an attorney from our law firm today.
The staff at James McKiernan Lawyers have extensive experience handling wrongful death claims against individuals who negligently, recklessly or intentionally cause the death of another person. We can conduct an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident or act that resulted in your loss. We often use accident reconstructionists when the death is the result of a car accident. This is particularly useful when there is a question as to who may be at fault. Our wrongful death lawyers have assisted countless families deal with the catastrophic consequences of the negligence of others. We may be able to help you, too.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit or Claim?
A family member of the deceased is the proper person to bring a wrongful death action in court. California law specifies which family members may sue in the event of a wrongful death. First, the surviving spouse or domestic partner, or the surviving children may recover damages in this type of claim. However, if there are no surviving children, then the law allows the deceased’s grandchildren to bring a wrongful death action. In the absence of any surviving parents, children or grandchildren, the law provides that the deceased’s next of kin may bring an action. Parents and stepchildren may also sue for wrongful death if they depended on the deceased for support.
It is important that the correct individual brings the claim or the lawsuit, or the court may dismiss the action. Generally, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit in the court of proper jurisdiction within two years of the loss. Wrongful death claims and lawsuits compensate family members for the loss of financial support and companionship of the victim. If you are unsure whether you are the proper person to file the claim, then contact our office and we will discuss your circumstances at no cost to you.
What Damages Are Recoverable for Wrongful Death?
The plaintiff in a wrongful death case is a family member as described above. Therefore, recoverable damages are limited to the losses which are personal to the plaintiff. This might include:
- Funeral costs. You may claim burial and funeral expenses in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Loss of financial support. Family members may claim damages for the loss of their loved one’s future income. This is especially important if your loved one was the primary breadwinner of your household.
- Loss of gifts and/or the value of household services. These may be difficult to calculate, but you may be able to claim compensation for the loss of your loved one’s help.
- Loss of companionship. This includes the loss of marital relations from a deceased spouse. It may also include the loss of training and guidance to children which a deceased parent would have provided.
California law also provides for survival actions. A survival action is a lawsuit brought on behalf of a person who passed away because of another’s negligence. A survival action is generally brought by the representative of the estate. Since an estate representative usually brings a survival action, the damages recoverable are those that were personal to the deceased. This may include final medical expenses, and the pain and suffering they endured before their death. By bringing both wrongful death and survival actions whenever applicable, our wrongful death lawsuit attorneys work to maximize the compensation available to the family members, heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased.
Lose a Loved One Due to Negligence? Call Our San Luis Obispo Wrongful Death Attorneys
Of course, no amount of money can bring back a loved one. However, it is unjust for families who have experienced the loss of a family member to be further victimized by having to bear the financial burden of the loss. An attorney can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. James McKiernan Lawyers is wrongful death law firm with a history of successes throughout the California Central Coast; we have won multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements in wrongful death cases.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another, then contact James McKiernan Lawyers online or call us at 888-442-2918 for a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to help you through this difficult time.