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Stockton Wrongful Death Lawyers

The loss of a loved one in an accident caused by another’s negligence is always traumatic. Following those initial moments of grief, many become frustrated knowing that their loved one’s death happened due to the irresponsible actions of a person or company. As a result, many families pursue a wrongful death claim to seek some form of justice for their loss.

At Silva Injury Law, we have extensive experience pursuing wrongful death claims. We know what’s at stake for families and how the loss of a loved one impacts their future. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Stockton wrongful death lawyers, contact us today.

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Why Choose Silva Injury Law

Wrongful death, compared to other case types, is rather complex. After a loved one’s death, many families don’t know what steps to take or if they even have a case at all. For the attorneys at Silva Injury Law, we have one goal in mind: to compassionately advocate for you. This means handling the difficult aspects of your case, such as:

  • Investigating the accident which caused the death;
  • Collecting evidence of the other party’s negligence;
  • Identifying possible witnesses or other defendants;
  • Calculating the family’s current and future losses;
  • Negotiating with the insurance company; and
  • Preparing the case for trial if necessary.

By providing these services, we offer you and your family the chance to heal rather than worry about legal issues or deadlines. In addition, we use our knowledge and experience in wrongful death claims to pursue justice on your behalf.

What Is Wrongful Death?

According to California law, wrongful death is “the death of a person caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” While this primarily happens in incidents involving negligence, such as car accidents or slip and falls, it can also happen due to criminal acts. For example, some families file a wrongful death claim alongside a criminal case if someone murders their loved one. In any case, the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the surviving family members for the losses they incur due to the decedent’s injury and subsequent death. 

Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

Every state has different rules about who may file a wrongful death claim. However, California’s wrongful death statute allows all of the following parties to file:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse or partner;
  • The decedent’s children; and
  • Any grandchildren if the decedent has no remaining children.

Basically, the state of California follows the person’s line of descent when it comes to wrongful death. When there are no surviving direct family members, California permits any person entitled to the decedent’s property based on state succession laws to file a wrongful death claim. In addition, those declared financially dependent on the deceased person may file. This may include:

  • A putative spouse;
  • Children of the putative spouse;
  • The decedent’s stepchildren; and
  • The decedent’s parents or legal guardians.

If you have any questions about whether you may file, we recommend reaching out to an lawyer. Some situations are more complex than others, so it’s best to consult a wrongful death lawyer when you’re unsure about who should file.

The Average Settlement for Wrongful Death

One common question families have before or during wrongful death proceedings is how much the average claim settles for. While there are plenty of sources on the internet that advertise average settlements, many of their calculations are somewhat misleading. One reason for this is that most averages don’t include confidential settlement information. This leaves out a huge portion of wrongful death settlements and skews the reported average. Another reason that averages aren’t that reliable is that they don’t take into account the unique circumstances of any given case. Based on this information, it’s best to look at averages with some skepticism.

Types of Wrongful Death Compensation

For wrongful death claims, the scope of damages typically includes any losses sustained by the surviving family member. These damages fall into one of two categories: economic or non-economic. Economic damages are any financial losses associated with the death, including:

  • Funeral and burial costs;
  • Outstanding medical expenses;
  • Loss of the decedent’s benefits;
  • Loss of future financial support from the decedent; and
  • The value of household assistance the decedent would have provided.

Unlike with other case types, determining economic damages in wrongful death isn’t that simple. Estimating the future costs to the family is the main hurdle, but our Stockton wrongful death lawyers have several expert resources to help determine the extent of these losses.

The other category of losses, called non-economic damages, is slightly different. That’s because these are physical or emotional losses, which include:

  • Mental or emotional anguish;
  • Loss of intimacy for a spouse; and
  • Loss of love, companionship, guidance, and care.

Since these damages aren’t the same for everyone, attorneys take great care in calculating them on a case-by-case basis. Simply put, a human life is priceless and the cost of losing a loved one isn’t always tangible. For this reason, non-economic damages are often just as important and impactful as any financial loss due to a wrongful death.

How Long You Have to File a Lawsuit

Although most wrongful death claims settle before going to trial, it’s always possible that negotiations with the defense won’t work out. In this situation, your attorney might recommend filing a lawsuit. However, you have only a limited amount of time to do this. 

Currently, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in California is two years from the date of death. This is a strict deadline set by California law, and it’s imperative that you don’t miss it if you plan on filing a lawsuit. If you fail to file by the time this limit expires, the court may dismiss your case. 

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Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.

As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

- Abraham Lincoln

Our Stockton Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Here for You

At Silva Injury Law, we understand the pain that comes with losing a loved one. While no amount of recovery can ever replace a life, we believe that families deserve justice for their loss. Through compassionate advocacy, our attorneys are devoted to helping your family heal. With a proven record of success and multiple industry recognitions, we always put our clients first. If you lost a loved one due to wrongful death, please call us or contact us online.

 

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of personal injury cases, including: