Losing a loved one or family member to a preventable accident or a malicious attack can be devastating, but what if the criminal courts can’t help you get the closure you need? What options are available to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions?
If you’re suffering through a situation like this in Fremont, don’t wait any longer. Call the Fremont personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw today. We have decades of experience helping our clients get compensation for losses in civil court through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, and we can use that experience to help you. Call us today for a free consultation and let us determine whether you have a valid wrongful death claim. Let us help you and your family get the closure and justice you deserve. Call OnderLaw today.
A wrongful death is a death caused by another person’s wrongful act or neglect. “Wrongful death” is a legal tool used to hold entities financially responsible for their negligent actions or malicious acts. This type of case can be appropriate in many different situations where someone’s negligent acts resulted in death, such as medical malpractice or defective product deaths. It can also be used to hold a party acquitted of criminal charges to account in civil court for the material and immaterial losses they’ve caused. The burden of proof in civil cases is lower than for criminal cases.
Any number of entities can be held responsible for a wrongful death. Exactly who might be responsible depends on the circumstances of the accident or action that caused the death. Some examples of plausible wrongful death scenarios include:
Wrongful death claims and lawsuits are usually brought by the decedent’s family or loved ones. California law allows the following concerned parties to bring a wrongful death claim:
Compensation for wrongful death varies widely and depends on the circumstances that caused the death. It’s nearly impossible to determine how much compensation you might obtain for a wrongful death without a detailed review of your case. In general, the more severe your losses relating to the death of your loved one, the more you should demand in financial compensation.
You can be compensated for a variety of material and immaterial losses attributed to the death, which are referred to as damages.
The damages allowed in wrongful death claims differ slightly from those allowed in other types of personal injury claims. Some examples of economic damages, or losses with a specific financial value, include:
You may also claim noneconomic damages in wrongful death claims, or damages with no assigned monetary value. These losses relate to the mental and emotional strain of losing your loved one and not to the financial losses suffered. There are many types, such as:
The following are specifically disallowed when determining compensation for wrongful death claims as they are generally associated with the death of any loved one or family member:
In order to obtain compensation for a wrongful death claim, you must prove the responsible party was either negligent or acting with intentional malice.
Proving negligence requires showing that the entity responsible for the death had a responsibility to behave in a way that didn’t endanger others, did not hold to that responsibility, their lack of care caused an accident, and that accident caused the death.
Proving malice is slightly different. Unlike in criminal cases, you don’t need to prove that the responsible party is guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt because wrongful death claims are handled in civil, not criminal court. You must show that the responsible party had the intent to harm the decedent, that they made non-consensual contact, such as striking with a hand or a weapon, and that contact caused the death.
If you can show, with evidence, that the responsible party was either negligent or acted with malicious intent, you should be able to claim compensation for your losses.
California’s statute of limitations law states that you have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. If you attempt to file suit after this date has passed, a judge will likely decline to hear your case.
The exception to this deadline is with suits against government entities or agencies. In these cases, you have six months from the date of the death to file a suit or administrative claim.
Here are some crime and fatal accident statistics for Fremont and elsewhere:
The simple answer to this question is that an attorney with experience in wrongful death claims can help ensure that you get the compensation you’re owed for the death of a loved one, but there are several more reasons why hiring an attorney is a good idea.
Since 2002, OnderLaw has helped residents of Fremont and elsewhere to get the compensation they deserve for personal injury or wrongful death claims. We have experience with every type of claim imaginable, from auto accidents to defective product cases worth hundreds of millions of dollars. One of the reasons our clients choose us is that we don’t back away from a fight with a corporate titan or government agency.
We don’t want financial stress to keep our clients from choosing us to represent them. We work on contingency, which means that we only take payment if we get you compensation. If we don’t get some form of settlement or award for you, we don’t get paid.
Call today for a free consultation. The statute of limitations has likely already started running, so time is a factor. Let us help you and your family get the closure and compensation you need to move on after a wrongful death. Call OnderLaw today.