Losing a close family member in a tragic accident is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through, especially when the accident happened because a third party was careless. While no amount of money can make up for a life being cut short, demanding fair financial compensation from the person responsible for causing this kind of tragedy is vital to securing your family’s financial well-being and protecting your long-term interests.
To learn more about filing suit over a loved one’s wrongful death, speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In addition to helping you prepare for settlement negotiations or a lawsuit in civil court, a compassionate Fowler wrongful death lawyer could advocate on your behalf to obtain the case outcome you deserve.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
California state law allows numerous people to demand compensation through a successful wrongful death lawsuit; but it also establishes a priority order for which family members and loved ones can do so. According to California Code of Civil Procedure §377.60, first priority goes to the decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, their surviving children, and their surviving grandchildren, if applicable.
If none of the people mentioned above survive to file a claim, the right to file passes to any person entitled under California’s intestate succession laws to inherit property from the deceased person, including the decedent’s parents or siblings. This rule also allows parents to pursue wrongful death damages in their child’s name.
Finally, anyone who can prove they were financially dependent on the decedent at the time of their death, such as stepchildren or a “putative” spouse, can bring a wrongful death claim alongside—or in the absence of—anyone mentioned above. A knowledgeable attorney in Fowler can offer further clarification about how state law governs negligent death claims during a confidential consultation.
Recovering Fair Compensation for a Wrongful Death
Rather than recovering for the harm the decedent experienced between their fatal accident and their death, wrongful death litigation seeks recovery for losses suffered by the decedent’s family members in the weeks, months, and years following their death. Compensable losses may include the following:
- Lost future financial support, including the loss of gifts or benefits such as insurance coverage
- Lost household services and assistance
- Costs of funeral and burial services
- Lost love and companionship
- Lost protection, affection, guidance, and moral support
- Loss of intimacy
Regardless of whether family members choose to retain a lawyer in Fowler, they must file a claim within two years of their loved one’s untimely death. Unfortunately, under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §335.1, any claim filed after this period could be thrown out.
A Wrongful Death Attorney in Fowler Could Help
No one deserves to lose a loved one at the hands of a negligent person. That said, when someone causes your family member’s death, you may have grounds to hold them financially accountable for both short-term and long-term losses that their actions will cause you.
A Fowler wrongful death lawyer’s assistance could be vital to achieving a favorable outcome while minimizing additional stress on you and your family members. Call our talented legal team members today to discuss your legal options and schedule a meeting.