Fresno Wrongful Death Lawyer

In a personal injury lawsuit, a victim seeks compensation for their injuries from a wrongdoer. Not every victim survives an accident or other event that leads to injuries. When that happens, their surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover for their losses. These claims are different from a person’s own claims because they do not focus solely on the harm to them. Instead, they consider the unique losses family members experience after losing a loved one.

If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you may be suffering tremendous financial stress and emotional trauma. A Fresno wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities after the death of a loved one and help you seek justice for your untimely loss. Call Valero Law Group to begin working with a skilled personal injury attorney today.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

California Code of Civil Procedure § 377.60 establishes a wrongful death action for survivors if their loved one’s death was the result of negligence or a wrongful act. These claims can be based on intentional acts, reckless acts, or negligent acts.

Some actions that can support a wrongful death claim include assaults, murders, automobile accidents, premises liability claims, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, construction accidents, and more. If another person’s wrongful or negligent actions led to the death, there may be a claim.

Like other personal injury claims, a wrongful death claim has four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. The wrongdoers must have had a duty—or legal obligation—to the deceased. Duty can be affirmative, such as a duty of reasonable care to people who come onto a property. Duty can also be implied—people must refrain from assaulting others. Next, the wrongdoer has to breach that duty. Additionally, they must show that the breach led to the victim’s death. Finally, they have to show that the death led to damages.

In some instances, survivors may not know whether the underlying act could support a wrongful death claim. A Fresno lawyer can examine the facts that led to the death and provide advice about whether those facts suggest a wrongful, negligent, intentional, or reckless cause of death.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Damages refer to compensation awarded for an accident’s associated losses. Generally, damages can be economic, noneconomic, and punitive. Economic damages refer to financial losses. In a wrongful death lawsuit, economic damages include direct costs like medical and funeral expenses. They also include property damages, lost wages, lost benefits, and costs to hire people to replace the work the deceased may have done. For example, a stay-at-home mom’s survivor may not have a direct, substantial loss. However, the family may need to hire a housekeeper, caregivers, etc., to replace her non-monetary contributions to the family. That compensation would still be considered economic because it causes a financial strain on the survivors.

Noneconomic damages are the justice system’s attempt to compensate people for losses that are not financial like emotional hardship. Trauma, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship are examples of noneconomic losses.

Punitive damages are designed to punish people for outrageous behavior. They are not available in most wrongful death suits. However, a Fresno wrongful death attorney can advise families if they have a potential punitive damage claim.

Schedule a Consultation With a Fresno Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a loved one is a tragedy that leaves more than grief in its wake. It can also lead to tremendous financial disruption for a family. A wrongful death claim cannot take away your loss, but it can take away added financial stress.

Contact Valero Law Group to schedule a consultation with a Fresno wrongful death lawyer. We will come to you to discuss the claim and help you understand your potential remedies. If you decide to bring the claim, you pay nothing unless we recover on your behalf.