Modesto Wrongful Death Lawyers
Silva Injury Law handles many types of injury claims involving car accidents, truck crashes, falls, and more. However, the most devastating cases are those involving fatal accidents and injuries. In such situations, surviving family members might obtain compensation from the party that caused the fatal accident or incident.
The role your loved one played in your family’s life has a financial value attached to it. Although you may not think of human life in terms of money, that is what our legal team does for you in a wrongful death claim. When your family member died, you suffered a loss that was both financial and emotional. The responsible party must pay for all your family’s damages when you can prove they were to blame. The result can be significant financial compensation for your family.
Compensation will never reunite you with your loved one, but it can bring a sense of closure, justice, and financial security as you move forward. Silva Injury Law is ready to help you achieve this. We use our years of experience, compassion, and persistent advocacy to promote healing for our clients, especially after a tragic loss.
Discuss a possible case with a Modesto wrongful death attorney today.
Fatal Accident Risks In Modesto
Modesto, California, a city known for its rich history, diverse culture, and beautiful landmarks, still poses various risks that can lead to fatal accidents. The city has several highways, including State Route 99 and State Route 132, which run through popular landmarks like the McHenry Mansion and the State Theatre.
Accidents involving trucks and commercial vehicles on these highways are relatively common and can be fatal. Poor road conditions, including inadequate signage and potholes, pose significant risks to motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
The city is also known for its extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain and fog, which can cause poor visibility and dangerous driving conditions, especially around Graceada Park and the Dry Creek Trail.
Fatalities can happen in many other ways that might lead to a wrongful death claim. If your family is grieving and wants to know your legal rights, speak with a Modesto wrongful death attorney from Silva Injury Law immediately.
Your Family Suffers A Personal Injury When A Loved One Wrongfully Dies
A wrongful death claim is your family’s claim for the injuries you suffered when your loved one died. You can also receive money for what your loved one endured in a separate legal action.
When your loved one dies, the primary injury is to you and your family, who rely on the deceased person for financial and emotional support. Your loved one’s presence can never be replaced, even by money. However, getting paid for your loss is the only remedy you have to pursue after someone else causes your loved one’s death.
You Can Only Receive Payment If You Take Legal Action
Your family may hesitate to pursue a wrongful death claim for several reasons. You may not want to relive your trauma or deal with the legal process during a difficult time. You may be afraid to take on a large company or powerful defendant who was responsible for your loved one’s death. Finally, you may not be confident in your chances of winning the case.
You can only get justice and financial compensation if you take legal action. Otherwise, the person or company who was to blame for your family member’s death will not be held accountable. The legal process can be complex, but an experienced lawyer will handle the tough details of your case, allowing your family to focus inward during this difficult time.
People Who May File A Wrongful Death Case In California
California has a wrongful death law that allows certain family members to receive financial compensation for the death of a loved one.
The following people can seek compensation when their family member wrongfully dies:
- Surviving spouse
- Domestic partner
- Any other minor children who were dependent on the deceased person for more than half of their financial support
The people eligible for wrongful death compensation will file one lawsuit. The hope is that the family can work together on the same page to file the most compelling case.
You Begin The Legal Process By Hiring A Wrongful Death Attorney
Your first step in a wrongful death case is to contact an attorney from Silva Injury Law to represent you. Although there is no legal requirement to hire a lawyer, you will have a much better chance at success if you do. In your case, success means getting money in the first place and recouping enough compensation to pay for what your family has lost.
Before taking legal action, your attorney must assemble a case showing that someone else should be held legally accountable. A wrongful death claim is like any other personal injury claim in that you need to show that another party was to blame before you can be in a position to receive financial compensation.
Specifically, you must prove that the death was wrongful, meaning that the other party acted:
Examples Of Wrongful Death Cases
Most wrongful death cases involve circumstances that allege negligence.
Here are some examples of different types of wrongful death cases:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Product defects
- Medical malpractice
- Drunk driving accidents
Proving Negligence In A Wrongful Death Case
In a negligence case, the legal rule is the same across personal injury cases. You must show that someone else acted unreasonably under the circumstances, failing to uphold their duty of care to your loved one. For example, a truck driver owed your loved one the duty of care simply by virtue of being around them on the road. If the truck driver veered out of their lane and they killed your loved one in a head-on crash, the truck driver should have acted unreasonably.
You need proof to show that someone else was negligent. Because your loved one cannot testify about what happened, your family will need to come in after the fact and prove that someone else was to blame. It is not always easy to gather the necessary evidence because it will disappear quickly, and the responsible party may do what they can to keep you from getting it.
When you hire a wrongful death attorney from Silva Injury Law, they will begin to investigate what happened after they start working for you. They will speak with witnesses and gather the physical evidence you need to prove your case. If you file a wrongful death lawsuit, your attorney will aggressively pursue evidence from the defendant in discovery to help build your case. You may not receive financial compensation for your loss if you do not have evidence and proof.
Your Legal Options For Compensation In A Wrongful Death Case
Then, your attorney will advise your family about your legal options to receive financial compensation. You may file a lawsuit directly against the responsible party in court. Alternatively, you may file a claim against their insurance policy to negotiate a settlement without going through court. Regardless of which option you choose, you will be dealing with an insurance company that does not care that your family needs the money and is dealing with a traumatic event.
Compensation In A Wrongful Death Case
Your wrongful death compensation can be considerable. Your loved one may have worn numerous hats in the family. They may have been a provider and a source of support. Wrongful death damages aim to compensate your family for everything that you lost.
Your family essentially receives the value of what your loved one meant to the family.
Wrongful death damages can include:
- The lost wages that your loved one might have earned had they lived and continued working
- The loss of emotional support and guidance that the family received from the deceased person
- The loss of the close physical and emotional relationship with the deceased person (which includes loss of consortium damages for the spouse)
- The family’s emotional trauma and distress that they suffered when they tragically lost their loved one due to someone else’s actions
- Funeral and burial costs
The Relationship Between A Wrongful Death And A Survival Action
In addition, your family member may not have died right after the accident. If they did not die instantly, chances are they suffered some of their damage between the injury and death.
These damages can include:
- The medical costs necessary to treat them
- The wages that they should have earned between their injury and death
- The emotional distress they suffered in the time before they died
- The pain and suffering they endured from their injuries
These damages may also be recoverable by the estate in a survival action, and they will be paid to heirs per the terms of the will if the case is successful. The decedent’s personal representative will file this lawsuit, which will usually proceed in tandem with the wrongful death case.
Your family may be entitled to punitive damages depending on the extent of the responsible party’s negligence or recklessness. These will not apply to a wrongful death case, but they can be part of a survival action. You can only get punitive damages if the jury rules in your favor because the insurance company will not pay them to you. Only a jury has the authority to order punishment.
The Insurance Company Is Not Out To Help Your Family
Regardless of who suffered the damages and when, the insurance company will likely take a different view of them. Even if they do not dispute liability, you can expect they will minimize what your family has lost and offer you pennies on the dollar. Your family has the burden of proof for showing your damages.
Your wrongful death attorney from Silva Injury Law will work to estimate the value of your case before you file a claim or lawsuit. Knowing how much your case is worth is essential since the insurance company will try to underpay you. An attorney may work with professionals to come up with a number.
You can expect to go through intensive negotiation with the insurance company before you can reach a settlement agreement. The insurance company may make you a settlement offer for a fraction of what you deserve in compensation. When you and your attorney know what your case is worth, you are unlikely to settle for less than your claim is worth. You may need to reject multiple settlement offers, and you even have to take your case to trial, but an experienced attorney will fight for you to get full and fair compensation for the loss of your loved one.
How Wrongful Death Settlements Are Divided Among Family Members
If your family wins a wrongful death lawsuit or receives a settlement, you are free to divide the damages based on an agreement between all who are eligible for payment. The hope is that the family can harmoniously divide a large amount of money. If the family cannot decide how to divide the proceeds of the case, a court has the authority to award shares of the proceeds to each family member.
Why You Need To Act Now In A Wrongful Death Case
The time to hire a wrongful death attorney is now.
Act quickly because:
- Under California law, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. You want to allow your lawyer time to work and negotiate with the insurance company without rushing.
- The insurance company may try to rush your family into a settlement that pays you less than you deserve if they know you do not have legal help.
- Your family can get peace of mind, knowing that an experienced lawyer is on the job fighting for you.
- Evidence to prove someone else’s legal responsibility can disappear quickly without a quick and complete investigation.
You do not have to act to file a claim or a lawsuit until you are ready. Still, you must begin preparing now to put your best foot forward legally when seeking financial compensation.
You will not need to pay any money to hire a lawyer upfront and out of your pocket. Your lawyer will work for you on a contingency basis; they only receive legal fees if you succeed. Thus, there is no financial risk to you in hiring a lawyer.
Contact A Modesto Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
At the Silva Injury Law Firm, we commit to handling your case compassionately and humanely, recognizing that your family is going through a challenging time. At the same time, we will fight vigorously on your behalf if anyone tries to take or compromise your legal right to compensation. Our attorneys know the games the insurance companies play, and we know how to put legal pressure on them. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
For your free initial consultation, you can send us a message online or call us today at (209) 308-8924.